The Duchess of Sussex gave a pretty powerful speech on feminism in New Zealand on the 125th anniversary of women achieving the right to vote in the country. The Duchess of Sussex began with a Maori greeting, “tēnā koutou katoa” or “hello to you all” which received a round of applause from the crowd. She went on to speak about her admiration for the country which was the first that became a self-governing country in the world that gave women the right to vote in 1893. With the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in attendance, Meghan continues with her speech.
The achievements of the women in New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote, and were the first in the world to achieve it, are universally admired,” she told the crowd at Government House in Wellington while standing in front of a portrait of her grandmother-in-law, the Queen.
“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 being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community.”
She then went on to explain how the fight for women’s vote is symbolic of all “members of society who have been marginalized”, whether on account of their “race, gender, ethnicity or orientation.”
Markle finished her speech with a quote from Kate Sheppard, one of the most eminent figures of women’s fight for rights in New Zealand.
“‘All that separates, whether of race, class, creed or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome’,” she said.
Many took to social media to commend the speech with one person describing it as “powerful”.
“I loved this speech. What Duchess Meghan has done in her first five months of being a part of the British royal family has been amazing,” one person wrote.
Another added: “I think Meghan is a fine role model for young women. It would be hard to find a better role model for my 17-year-old daughter.”
This is not the first time that Meghan has been vocal on feminism, as back in 2015 she also spoke at the celebration of International Women’s Day at the United Nations, where she serves as a Women’s advocate.