Image credit: @kensingtonroyal
The Duchess Of Sussex joins Annie Lennox and Adwoa Aboah to discuss how global feminism includes everybody – male or female
On International Women’s Day, Her Majesty The Queen appointed The Duchess of Sussex vice-president of her Commonwealth Trust – of which her husband The Duke of Sussex is patron – to continue the great work the trust is doing for women’s empowerment. Equality has always been a topic close to the Duchess’ heart; her activism starting at the age of 11 when she campaigned against Procter and Gamble’s “women all over America are fighting grease pots and pans” ad campaign, which she felt was fundamentally wrong. Thanks to a successful campaign the word “women” was later replaced by “people”. What a #shero.
The Duchess later joined a panel with singer, activist and founder of The Circle NGO Annie Lennox OBE, former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, activist model Adwoa Aboah, Zimbabwean executive for Camfed Angeline Murimirwa and Let Us Learn founder Chrisann Jarrett to discuss a range of issues affecting women around the world.
See some of our favourite moments from the panel talk below:
At minute 12:28 when asked about her bump The HRH Duchess of Sussex talks of feeling “the embryonic kicking of feminism, so boy or girl whatever it is we hope that that’s the case” – and with two activists as parents, how could it not be?
At minute 20:35 the Duchess talks about the importance of girls education: “once I became old enough to travel, specifically to developing countries, and see what was happening abroad, I think for me what really resonated was the lack education for girls and how that has a ripple effect on so many things […] the positives that do come out when you do have access to education for young girls affects economic development, the GDP, billions of dollars on the table are lost by girls being pulled out of education”
At minute 35:32 Meghan talks about her her work in India with grassroots organisation Myna Mahila Foundation working in slum communities “trying to destigmatise what menstruation means for a lot of these young girls and women, but also giving them the access to be able to get the products and in the same construct having these women mobilised to be able to set up micro-finance to sell these pads and other things that are needed to other women within the community.
At minute 37:53 Annie Lennox talks about why she has been campaigning about using the umbrella term global feminism that should be used by boys and girls alike. “We must make this invisible girl visible, and how do we do that? By terminology, by discussion.”
At minute 45:05 Adwoa Aboah talks about involving boys in the feminist movement: “we talked about the invisible woman and it’s also important to shine light on the invisible men who don’t feel like they have the space to talk about what’s going on in their life.”
At minute 59:14 Adwoa talks about campaigning on social media as she feels “sometimes that can be quite detrimental, because I feel like there is something that’s missing – you know, we do the hashtag, we celebrate, we post and then we don’t take that on into our everyday lives.”
At minute 1:00:35 Annie Lennox talks about the importance of creating a movement. “Charitable organisations are terribly, terribly important, they do amazing work but we cannot solve it alone by charity. It must be transformed into political, social change.”
At minute 1:01:46 Meghan talks about tangible possibilities of action stating that “we have a responsibility as well, that if we’re part of social media, if we’re engaging in that way, that we are not just giving people more things to chat about, but actually something to do.”
At minute 1.03.25 The Duchess is asked about the role of technology and social media in these issues, to which she says that “it’s our responsibility – we make a choice in what we click on, we make a choice in what we read, we make a choice in what we engage in – that is our personal decision to not feed into negativity, to really be more cause-driven and action-based.”
For this year’s International Women’s Day, Annie Lennox also launched a global initiative – read more about it here.
Inspired to read more about inspiring female change-makers? Here’s a list of incredible women.
The Duchess of Sussex, is a also big supporter of sustainable fashion, see her ethical styles here.