The Duchess of Sussex, on a panel discussion for International Women’s Day, said she felt the “embryonic kicking of feminism” when talking about her hopes for women in the future and her first child, due next month with Prince Harry.
The royal was joined by Annie Lennox OBE, model and Gurls Talk founder Adwoa Aboah and the former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard.
“I’d seen this documentary on Netflix on feminism and one of the things they said during pregnancy was, ‘I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism,'” said Meghan Markle. “I love that. So boy or girl or whatever it is, we hope that that’s the case, our little bump.” It seems Marke is referring to a comment made by comedian Lily Tomlin in the 2018 documentary Feminists—What Were They Thinking?
She spoke of the well-documented moment that she first discovered feminism, when, at 11-years-old, she was so angered by a sexist TV advert for washing-up liquid that she wrote letters to Hilary Clinton and Gloria Allred. She explained a camera crew came to her house to cover the story and eventually the ad’s offending slogan was changed.
“If things are wrong and there is a lack of justice, and there is an inequality, then someone needs to say something” — The Duchess of Sussex on #InternationalWomensDay @QueensComTrust #IWD2019 pic.twitter.com/p5Dojn2Upw
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 8, 2019
“Truth be told, at 11, I didn’t even know what sexism meant,” she said. “I just knew that something struck me internally that was telling me it was wrong, and I knew that it was wrong.”
“It really set up the trajectory for me to say, if there was a wrong, if there is a lack of justice, and there is an inequality, then someone needs to do something. And why not me?”
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“So for me,” she continued, “I think the idea of making the word ‘feminism’ trendy, that doesn’t make any sense to me personally, right? This is something that is going to be part of the conversation forever.” When asked later if she looked at Twitter, she replied: “No, sorry, no. For me that’s my personal preference.”
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The Duchess also talked about the importance of education: “You look at it and you can say, here are the vulnerabilities and the challenges that come about when they don’t have access to education. Early childhood marriage, susceptibility to trafficking, modern slavery, all of that.”
education for girls, she said, “affects the economic development, the GDP. Billions of dollars on the table are lost by girls being pulled out of education.”
Main photograph: Twitter