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Meghan Markle privately organizes breakfast with activists from South Africa

At a time when Princess Meghan put her foot on South African land, her main goal during the royal tour was clear: women's problems. Speaking to the crowds in the town of Nyanga in Cape Town, she explained why it was so important for the couple to start their trip there: "I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color and as your sister," she said to applause and applause . "I am here with you and I am here for you."

After completing a number of tasks related to women's empowerment and gender equality, Princess Sussex continued to work on these topics behind closed doors, inviting a group of South African leaders to an informal breakfast meeting on Thursday, September 26. Away from the media, nine activists and creators of change have joined Meghan for tea, conversation and a chance to tell her about the roles they have played – and still play – in their country and communities.

Representing different generations, political parties, origin and parts of the country, the group was diverse, but each woman had the same passion and goals. While spending time with Meghan at the residence of the British High Commissioner at Bishopscourt, women spoke informally, sharing struggles, action plans for the future, and the root causes of the country's problems.

The leadership and strength shown by these women are extraordinary … I hope that their voices will resonate and not only provide comfort, but also bring about changes.
Duchess Meghan

Much of the conversation concerned the ongoing gender-related violence in South Africa and the feminicide crisis, a topic that has been hanging for too long in South Africa. It was an opportunity for Meghan to better understand the problem in which about 2,700 women and 1,000 children were murdered last year, as well as over 100 rapes reported to the authorities every day, as well as what to do. "I was so moved by what I heard," she said in a statement issued by Buckingham Palace. "The leadership and strength shown by these women are extraordinary, and at a time when gender and gender-based violence are in the foreground in people's minds, I hope their voices resonate and not only provide comfort, but also change. "

During the meeting, Meghan had the opportunity to hear inspirational stories from every woman, including apartheid activist Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, who led 20,000 women to march on Union buildings in Pretoria in protest against the rights of apartheid in 1956. He is the last living leader of the Women's March who she led when she was only 18 years old.

Duchess Meghan with Sophia Williams-De Bruyn.

Buckingham Palace

Reflecting on the spectacular session, Meghan said: "Recently, I was reminded that the first on the mountain is often the heaviest knocked down, but gives way to everyone behind her. These brave women were able to see how their fight could pave the way for so many. Today, you must stick to all organizers, activists and activists of young women and know that you work for this generation and the next, as well as continue the heritage of generations of great women in front of you. "

Meghan also engaged in an informative conversation with the sex activist Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, MP of the African National Congress and the youngest woman currently working in the South African Parliament. The 26-year-old, who led to the successful #FeesMustFall movement to stop school fees increases on social media, told Meghan about how she fought for access to education for young people, especially girls, regardless of their background. Mkhatshwa also speaks loudly about the crisis of gender-related violence, which she believes has been ignored for too long. "We must recall this kind of behavior, we must recall the patriarchal and chauvinistic nature of society and deal with it," she said. "We need to talk to say that we can't have a society where women are marginalized."

At the Thursday meeting, Meghan told how much the stories of nine women meant to her. "We can learn a certain amount from the outside by following it on the news, but it's not the same that we really understand how it is in the field," she said. "Most of my life I advocate for the rights of women and girls, so it was an incredibly powerful moment to hear first hand from all of you."

The Duke & Duchess Of Sussex Visit South Africa

The Duchess of Sussex speaks in Nyanda on the first day of the royal tour of southern Africa.

Samir HusseinGetty Images

The uprising against gender-related violence in South Africa was swift last month, and widespread protests throughout the country sparked the assassination of August 24 and the rape of 19-year-old student at the University of Cape Town Uyinene Mrwetyan. "It's not just a matter of South Africa," says Meghan. "It's a global problem that can be solved only by the attention and work of everyone, regardless of gender, status, politics, race or nationality."

Shortly after Thursday morning meeting, Meghan quietly went to the Clareinch district of Cape Town to visit the post office where Mrwetyana was killed by a 42-year-old employee and has now become a memorial to people across the country. Her death, which spread throughout the world, caused South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to convene an extraordinary parliamentary meeting to urgently address this issue and inspired the #AmINext social media movement that Harry and Meghan supported in their @SussexRoyal Account on Instagram.

Carrying the yellow ribbon, which she received from a gift received from a kindly wish at the beginning of the week, Meghan carefully tied the material to the wooden balustrades outside the building along with hundreds of other tributes. Xhos's words "Simi kunye kulesisimo" were written neatly on it, which means "At this moment we are standing together." The visit was an opportunity for the duchess to express respect and, according to the spokesperson, "show solidarity with those who have opposed gender-based violence and the killings of women … Visiting the place of tragic death and recognizing Uyinene and all women and girls affected by GBV was personally important for Duchess. "

Later that afternoon, Meghan spoke on the phone with Mrwetyana's mother, a family spokesman confirms The conversation was private, but Thembelani Mrwetyan's relative says: "We will always be grateful that Uyinene's life and her departure have become a turning point and that her spirit will live seeing South Africa free from gender-based violence."

Sources close to the royal narrate BAZAAR that Meghan – who flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg in the afternoon – will continue to deal with this topic after returning to England next week and plans to continue conversations with many people and key figures she met while in the capital.

In Malawi, the focus will be on women's strength and empowerment. Prince Harry will visit Nalikule College of Education to meet a network of young women who are attending and graduating from high school through a UKAid grant. Commitment will also celebrate the leadership of young women from the Campaign for Women's Education Alumni Association (CAMA). Meghan will even join the group via Skype & # 39; and from Johannesburg as vice president of the Queenwe Commonwealth Trust, who supports the project.

Meet with Nine Amazing Women at Meghan breakfast

Sophia Williams-De Bruyn he is a former activist against apartheid and provincial legislator. She was the first winner of the Women's Award for exceptional national service and is the last living leader of the Women's March.

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele he is a former activist against apartheid, doctor, academic and businesswoman. She was the managing director of the World Bank (2000) and former vice chancellor at the University of Cape Town.

The 7th Annual Barnard College Global Symposium

Dr. Ramphele addresses the 7th annual Barnard College Global Symposium in March 2015.

Noam GalaiGetty Images

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng is the first black woman to obtain a PhD in mathematics in southern Africa and was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town in 2018. Previously, she was deputy director of research and innovation at the University of South Africa and served as executive dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at UNISA.


Professor Phakeng takes the floor during a protest against gender-based violence after the death of Uyinene Mrwetyan.


Lindiwe Mazibuko she is a South African scientist and was the first non-white leader of parliament for the opposition party, the Democratic Alliance.


Mazibuko speaks at a rally in Cape Town in April 2014.


Judy Sikuza is the CEO of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation and began her career at Absa Bank, also cooperating with Investec and Reos Partners.

Mbali Ntuli he is a politician from South Africa and a member of the Democratic Alliance. He is currently a member of the provincial legislature KZN. This year, she was awarded the One Young World International Politician of the Year Award.

Siviwe Gwarube is the Minister of Shadow Health and a member of the Democratic Alliance. Previously, she was the head of the Department of Health in the Western Cape Government.

Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, an MP from the African National Congress, is one of the youngest women in parliament and a well-known gender activist.

Wall of tribute to Winnie Madikizel-Mandela unveiled in the House of Luthuli

Mkatshwa signs a wall tribute to the deceased Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in April 2018.

foto24Getty Images

Sonja De Bruyn Sebotsais leading investment banking businesswoman. She is a member of the Pan-African initiative Graca Machel, New Faces New Voices, and is also a young global leader of the World Economic Forum.

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