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Meghan in International Women’s Day debate: “I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism”

The Duchess of Sussex took part in a panel discussion on International Women’s Day, hosted by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, of which she was named Vice President on Friday morning.

Meghan was joined by influential women including Annie Lennox, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Adwoa Aboah, Chrisann Jarrett, and Angeline Muirmirwa to talk about women’s issues.

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When asked about her pregnancy, Meghan replied that it was going well and that she planned to raise her child to be a feminist, whether she gives birth to a boy or girl.

“It’s funny, I’d actually been joking these past few weeks I’d seen this documentary on Netflix about feminism and one of the things they said during pregnancy was ‘I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism’. I loved that,” Meghan said.

Among the topics Meghan discussed with the panel include how men can be supportive allies and feminists, and how this helps gender equality.

“I think in terms of masculinity, you understand your strength includes knowing your vulnerabilities and your sense of self and security. Your confidence comes in knowing that a woman by your side, not behind you, is actually something you shouldn’t be threatened about.”

Meghan said that gender equality to her means that men are included in the conversation, “saying there’s nothing threatening about women coming up to the same level, it’s our safety in numbers, this is our power and our strength as a team. That’s gender neutral if you think about it.”

She mentioned how Prince Harry is a feminist and is part of the conversation on gender equality.

Meghan also talked about social media, and how she never goes on Twitter because “it’s much safer that way.”

She admitted that she does read The Economist, but not social media, saying that, “equally, that’s just my own personal preference because I think positive or negative, it can all sort of just feel like noise to a certain extent these days, as opposed to getting muddled with that to focus on the real cause.

“So for me, I think the idea of making the word feminism trendy, that doesn’t make any sense to me personally, right? This is something that is going to be part of the conversation forever.”

Meghan also talked about how action needs to be more than hashtag activism, saying that “Hashtags are not enough. We have a responsibility as well, that if you’re part of social media and engaging in that way, we’re not just giving people more things to chat about but actually something to do.”

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.