7 times Meghan Markle was a feminist icon, from calling out sexism in 'Suits' to sending notes to sex workers

Daniel Leal_olivas/ WPA Pool/ Getty ImagesMeghan Markle on International Women’s Day 2019 in London.
  • Meghan Markle spoke about feminism on a panel for International Women’s Day in London on Friday.
  • The Duchess of Sussex has been campaigning for equality long before she became a royal.
  • In honour of International Women’s Day, we’ve rounded up 7 times Markle advocated for women’s rights, and proved herself to be a feminist icon.

The Duchess of Sussex has campaigned for gender equality for as long as she can remember.

From protesting a sexist TV commercial at just 11 years old, to discussing women’s rights on a panel for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019, it’s fair to say Meghan Markle has become a feminist icon.

Read More:
Meghan Markle wrote messages of support on bananas for women breaking free of sex work and addiction

In honour of the day that celebrates women all over the world, we’ve rounded up 7 times the duchess has championed women’s rights.

2011: She campaigns against a sexist dish soap ad at the age of 11.

YouTube, Inside EditionA young Meghan Markle is interviewed about her stance against sexism

Meghan first embarked into the world of feminism when she came across a dish soap commercial by Proctor and Gamble with the tag line: “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.”

She was so outraged by the commercial that she wrote a letter of complaint to both the company and Hilary Clinton, who was First Lady at the time. To her surprise, both replied – and P&G changed the commercial’s tagline a month later.

2014: She calls out sexism on TV series “Suits.”

Shane Mahood/ USA Network/ NBCU Photo Bank/ Getty ImagesMeghan Markle and Patrick J Adams in ‘Suits.’

Markle starred alongside Patrick J Adams in hit TV series “Suits” for seven seasons. According to Revelist, Meghan challenged show creators after her character, Rachel, was continuously sexualised and written in the scripts as wearing very little clothing.

She said in 2014: “This season, every script seemed to begin with ‘Rachel enters wearing a towel.’

“I think at a certain point, you feel empowered enough to say no.”

2015: Markle becomes a UN Women’s Advocate.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/ Getty Images

Markle has been a UN Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership since 2015.

But what most people don’t know is that, according to the Royal Family’s official website, the former actress spent time shadowing employees at the UN’s New York office to learn the organisation’s day-to-day work before taking on the role.

2017: She writes a powerful essay on the stigma surrounding menstruation in the developing world.

George Pimentel/ WireImage/ GettyMeghan Markle at World Vision event in Lumas Gallery

Markle travelled to Delhi and Mumbai with World Vision to meet girls and women who were impacted by the stigmatization of menstrual health in 2017.

In a bid to raise awareness of how the lack of menstrual hygiene products affects girls’ education in these countries, she wrote an essay for Time Magazine.

“Beyond India, in communities all over the globe, young girls’ potential is being squandered because we are too shy to talk about the most natural thing in the world.

“To that I say: we need to push the conversation, mobilize policy making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organisations who foster girls’ education from the ground up, and within our own homes, we need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation.”

2018: The Duchess of Sussex gives her first speech on a royal tour about womens’ right to education.

Samir Hussen/ WireImage/ Getty ImagesMeghan Markle at Suva Market, Fiji

During Markle’s visit to Fiji with Prince Harry in 2018, she spoke from personal experience about the struggles women face when it comes to accessing their right to an education.

“When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them,” she said.

2019: She writes messages of support on bananas to women breaking free of sex work and addiction.

Toby Melville/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images

Earlier this year, the Duchess of Sussex made headlines after writing empowering messages on bananas to women breaking free from sex work and addiction.

During her visit to the charity One25, the duchess wrote messages on bananas in lunch bags being given to the women, saying things like, “You are strong” and “You are loved.”

2019: The Duchess of Sussex speaks out on International Women’s Day 2019.

Daniel Leal-Ollivas/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images

On Friday, Markle spoke on a panel for International Women’s Day at King’s College in London.

During the discussion, she talked about her growing platform as a women’s advocate. But it was mention of her future feminist royal baby that had everyone talking.

According to Hello! Magazine, when asked how her pregnancy was going, Meghan replied: “I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism.”

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