Duchess Meghan makes a poignant stop in Johannesburg to talk about gender based violence

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visits Action Aid. (Photo: EWN/Kayleen Morgan)
The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visits Action Aid. (Photo: EWN/Kayleen Morgan)

Cape Town – As the discussion about gender based violence in South Africa continues, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex, made a poignant visit to Action Aid on Tuesday – an international non-governmental organisation with the primary aim of working to eradicate poverty while helping citizens to achieve social justice and gender inequality in impoverished communities.

On arrival, the duchess met with Nondumiso Nsibande, Country Director of Action Aid South Africa and Fiona Clark from the British High Commission.

Before joining in the conversation to discuss the nature of violence against women and girls in South Africa, Meghan was welcomed by a group of women singing and ululating and two little girls who waited for her with a bouquet flowers and drawings they’d sketched themselves.

She hugged them, kneeled and looked at their pictures, thanking them for being so kind.

meghan markle

(HUGS: The Duchess of Sussex received a warm welcome when she arrived at Action Aid in Johannesburg. Photo: EWN/Kayleen Morgan)

Her Royal Highness privately visited a classroom – a sign next to the door read "empowerment" – where an after school girls’ club usually meets. There, she was introduced to many girls between the ages of 12 and 16.

meghan markle

(AN EMPOWERING AFTERNOON: Duchess spoke to women and girls about the country's ongoing struggle with gender based violence. Photo: African News Agency/Nokuthula Mbatha)

A strong advocate for women’s rights, Her Royal Highness made much of her focus while in South Africa, on what she and we, as South Africans, can do to bridge the gap of gender inequality.

Speaking to female entrepreneurs in Woodstock and visiting UJ to announce a new set of grants and scholarships were of utmost importance to Meghan. So too was addressing the issue of gender based violence in light of the devastating story of Uyinene Mrwetyana.

Her Royal Highness, in her personal capacity, visited the post office where Uyinene lost her life.

She was seen at the site tying a yellow ribbon with the words "Simi kunye kulesisimo" (We stand together in this moment) written on it.

She signed it, "Harry & Meghan, September 25, 2019."

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