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Meghan Markle outlines fight for feminism and gender equality on royal website

Official biography refers to her charity work and speech where she declared she was 'proud to be a woman and feminist'

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 21 May 2018 21:56 BST
Meghan Markle on feminism during UN women speech

Meghan Markle, the new Duchess of Sussex, has outlined her feminist credentials and commitment to championing gender equality on the British monarchy’s website.

Her official profile on the palace website describes her trajectory of activism and humanitarian work, listing her achievements in those areas.

A speech which saw the former Suits actor declare she was “proud to be a woman and feminist” is also referenced.

Her biography explains that early experiences of campaigning helped form a “lifelong commitment” to “social justice” and “women’s empowerment”.

It says: “Aged 11, she successfully campaigned for a company to alter their television advert that had used sexist language to sell washing-up liquid.

“Her Royal Highness also volunteered at a soup kitchen in Skid Row, Los Angeles from the age of 13-17. She continued to volunteer at the soup kitchen when she would return home to Los Angeles until the age of 22.”

It also draws attention to the work she has done for United Nations Women and World Vision organisations.

A quote from a speech she delivered to a UN forum on International Women's Day in 2015 is included. "I am proud to be a woman and a feminist”.

Meghan's wedding at Windsor Castle was notable for its more modern approach. In a clear break with tradition, she gave a speech in which she is thought to have thanked the royal family for welcoming her.

She also chose to walk unaccompanied part of the way down the aisle of St George's Chapel in an effort to make a feminist statement.

The “vow of obedience”, which some perceive to be sexist, was not included in the ceremony and the couple were pronounced “husband and wife” instead of “man and wife”.

Meghan's feminist credentials have been well documented. She has previously labelled US president Donald Trump “misogynistic” and “divisive” and advocated voting for his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

She said people should pick the Democratic nominee “not because she’s a woman, but because Trump has made it easy to see that you don’t really want that kind of world that he’s painting”.

During a 2015 interview with Larry King, the interviewer commented on her good looks, asking her if her looks affected her advocacy.

“You’re not the average American woman, Meghan, admit it," he said.

She replied: "No matter what you look like, you should be taken seriously. And for me also, I think it's really great to be a feminist and be feminine."

When King asked "Is feminist still a good word?" she said: "Yes. It's not the 'f' word."

The Duchess spoke out in support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns against sexual harassment in February. She chose a high-profile moment to do so - she was centre stage at an event celebrating the work of the Royal Foundation and it was her first working engagement with Prince William, Kate Middleton and Harry.

“I hear a lot of people speaking about girls’ empowerment and women’s empowerment - you will hear people saying they are helping women find their voices,” she said. “I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find their voices, they need to be empowered to use it and people need to be urged to listen.

“Right now with so many campaigns like #MeToo and Time’s Up there’s no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them.”

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