Meghan Markle Celebrates Women's Suffrage In New Zealand With A Speech About Feminism

"I reflected on the importance of this achievement."

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, continued her royal tour with husband Prince Harry this week in New Zealand, and delivered a powerful speech about feminism while celebrating the country's 125th anniversary of women's suffrage.

"The achievements of the women of New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote ― and were the first in the world to achieve it ― are universally admired," Markle shared in her speech at the event, which was also attended by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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"In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolizes," she continued. "Because yes, women's suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness."

"Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community, the involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of," she shared.

The Duchess added that women's suffrage also represents the rights of all marginalized groups ("whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation") to have a say in their future. This sentiment is also timely for the upcoming midterm elections in the United States.

Feminism is an important topic for Markle. Her royal biography mentions her commitment to "women's empowerment," and includes the following quote: "I am proud to be a woman and a feminist." This commitment goes all the way back to childhood, when she wrote a letter to have a sexist TV ad changed.

More recently, Markle has added her voice to the #MeToo movement, sharing her belief that "women don't need to find a voice. They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen."

Last week, she also delivered her first royal tour speech in Fiji, speaking about the importance of education for girls in developing countries. "When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but for all of those around them," she said.

Cover image: FiledIMAGE / Shutterstock.com

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