Meghan Markle shared her feminist side with the world in a powerful speech about women’s right to vote, and said feminism is about fairness.
For the last leg of their 16-day tour, Meghan and Prince Harry touched down in New Zealand on Sunday. The royal couple joined Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Government House in Wellington to celebrate New Zealand’s 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
In her speech, Meghan said, “We are proud to be able to join you tonight in celebrating the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in your country. 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.”
Speaking about feminism as a value, Meghan said, “I’m looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolises. 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 all people, including those members of society who have been marginalised whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation, to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community,” she added.
Congratulating New Zealand for completing 125 years of women’s suffrage, the Duchess of Sussex said, “So bravo, New Zealand, for championing this right 125 years ago, for the women who well deserve to have an active voice and acknowledged vote, and for all of the people that this effort has paved the way for globally,”
Meghan concluded her powerful speech by quoting Kate Sheppard, a prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement in New Zealand. “In the words of your suffragette, Kate Sheppard, ‘All that separates, whether of race, class, creed or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome,” Meghan said.
The couple is currently on their first royal tour of Australia and South Pacific that began on October 16. The tour will end on October 31 with their visit to New Zealand.
Meghan and Harry are also expecting their first child in 2019.