The Sussex Team

Meghan visits ActionAid South Africa to learn more about work on women’s rights

For the final engagement of the day, Meghan paid a special visit to ActionAid South Africa first of all to raise awareness about gender-based violence in the country but also to learn more about the incredible work they’re doing to end violence against women and girls.

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Meghan was warmly welcomed with flowers and hugs by Kadisha, Kaliso, and Luyanda whose mothers work for ActionAid.

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

You can watch a clip of the greeting her:

Established is a part of Action Aid International, ActionAid South Africa is an anti-poverty agency working with poor people in over 40 countries. Their main goal is to “see a just, fair and sustainable world, in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty and oppression. So, we work to achieve social justice and gender equality, and to eradicate poverty.

Credit: ActionAid

More from the organisation:

“We work closely with people living in poverty and exclusion, civil society organizations, social movements and supporters. Together, we deliver grassroots programs, provide emergency relief and campaign for things such as women’s economic rights, tax justice and climate justice.
Our work falls into four broad areas: women, politics and economics, land and climate, and emergencies. We have a particular focus on women’s rights; it’s a thread that runs through all our work.

ActionAid was founded as a charity in 1972. In the 1990s, we adopted a human rights-based approach to development. In 2003, we established the ActionAid International federation. Our head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa. We also have hubs in Asia, the Americas and Europe.’

From visiting a charity that aids mothers living with HIV to a round table conversation about women’s access to higher education, the Meghan’s message during this tour is very clear: “When women are empowered, the entire community flourishes.”

During her visit Meghan joined a conversation about the nature of violence against women and girls and the work being done to tackle it.

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

A video of Meghan during the conversation:

Reflecting on the conversation ActionAid Country Director, Nondumiso Nsibande said:

“What an honor to have had a conversation with The Duchess of Sussex on a critical issue of violence against women and girls in the country. School, and the journey to it, can also be a place where girls experience violence, from sexual harassment, and bullying and intimidation. All of us have a role to play in ending gender-based violence in our country.”

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

More from ActionAid:

“In her conversation with our colleagues, Markle highlighted just how systemic gender-based violence is and how young girls often feel displaced in the places where they should feel the safest, at home or at school. ActionAid knows that violence against women and girls is a violation of fundamental rights that affects women worldwide. We know this is a systemic issue that has to be tackled at the root.”

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Meghan is also scheduled to privately visit a classroom where an after schoolgirls’ club meets. There, she was expected to speak with a number of young women between the ages of 12 and 16 who are members of the club.

Meghan has been a very busy lady the last couple of days – from visiting a charity that aids mothers living with HIV to a round table conversation about women’s access to higher education. Through all her engagements her message has been clear: “When women are empowered, the entire community flourishes.”

Before departing ActionAid in South Africa Meghan took time to speak directly to press who has been following her journey in South Africa about her passion, particularly when it comes to eradicating gender-based violence in South Africa.

Hear what she said in the clip below

Meghan said:

“It’s been very important to me for a long time to focus on women’s and girls’ rights, and especially their empowerment. “To be able to see this from afar, and then now see the work that’s being done on the ground—I think what’s really key is to focus on the work that needs to be done, but also how much incredible work is being done, and to be able to be here and help support those people who are really actively working to champion the rights of women and girls,”

For her last engagement of the day Meghan wore a khaki green shirtdress by ethical brand Room 502.

And her her trusted black Manolo Blahnik BB pumps

Accessorised with a pair of Labyrinth earrings

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