Meghan Markle delivered an empowering speech about voting rights and feminism during an event to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.
The former “Suits” actress was joined at the Government House by her husband, Prince Harry, as well as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Governor-General Patsy Reddy.
“The achievements of the women of New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote ― and were the first in the world to achieve it ― are universally admired,” the Duchess of Sussex said in her speech Sunday at the Government House in Wellington, according to video shared by Kensington Palace. “In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolizes.”
“Because yes, women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness,” Meghan continued.
“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, the involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of,” she said.
The duchess added: “Women’s suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of all people, including those members of society who have been marginalized whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation, to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community.”
Meghan has said she’s been a proud feminist since she was a little girl. At age 11, she fought against sexist advertising in a Proctor & Gamble ad. She features a quote from a 2015 speech she gave as a U.N. advocate for women’s political participation and leadership prominently on her royal biography: “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on a 16-day royal tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, which will wrap up this week.
The couple kicked off their international journey this month with the announcement that they are expecting their first child together. Over the course of their trip, they’ve received many cute baby presents and spoken about their little one, due in spring 2019.
“From myself, my wife and our little bump, we are so grateful to be here,” Harry said upon arriving at Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand over the weekend. “We bring blessings from my grandmother the queen and our family. We are so grateful for your hospitality and the work to look after this beautiful place.”
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