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Meghan Markle’s first royal tour speech was all about the power of female education


By Jennifer McShane
24th Oct 2018
Meghan Markle’s first royal tour speech was all about the power of female education

All eyes have been on Meghan Markle as she continues her royal visit of Fiji. She is glowing and with Prince Harry working what appears to be a seemingly never-ending supply of tropical shirts, they are quite a vibrant couple.

On a more serious note, the Duchess of Sussex took her inaugural turn on the podium to make what is only her second official speech as a member of the royal family to highlight an important issue.

For this, Markle fittingly chose to speak of empowerment and how education not only inspires the woman undertaking it, but also fellow women around her.

The Duchess addressed students at the University of the South Pacific on the importance of education in the Fijian capital of Suva told the audience that education was an essential part of women’s empowerment.

 

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“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive,” she said. “And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital.”

“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 also announced two new grants to Fiji National University and the University of South Pacific, which will fund workshops designed to empower female staff at the universities.

“Grants like this will ensure that women are provided with the training and skills to operate effectively in their roles, and that those with leadership potential are given the opportunity to be heard and recognized at the most senior level.”

Without special funding, Meghan explained, her own university education would not have been possible, saying that she was “fully aware of the challenges” of affording higher education, having gone through this herself.

“It was through scholarships, financial aid programs and work-study – where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition – that I was able to attend university,” she said.

 

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A former UN Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership, the Duchess of Sussex has been a vocal feminist from the beginning, so she is a natural choice to introduce schemes that will help to further better women in developing countries.

She does, she says, remember the thrill of going to college herself; and says all women deserve that same opportunity.

“As a university graduate, I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university,” she continued.

“From the moment you receive your acceptance letter to the exams you spend countless late nights studying for, the lifelong friendships you make with your fellow alumni to the moment that you receive your diploma, the journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful and pivotal one.”