Duchess Meghan calls for empowering women through education

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, smiles during a Justice Desk initiative in Nyanga township, on the first day of her African tour in Cape Town, South Africa, September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, is visiting South Africa for her first time ever./ Getty

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, has called for the use of education as a tool to empower women in South Africa, saying the move could transform communities.

Meghan made the remarks on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she, alongside Prince Harry and their baby Archie, are winding up their tour of Africa.

“When a woman is empowered it changes absolutely everything in the community and starting an educational atmosphere is really a key point of that,” the Duchess of Sussex told a roundtable of academics and students.

“Education, I think higher education specifically, is such a key element for growth, economic growth but also personal growth and development,” she added.

Meghan is the current patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), having taken over the role from Queen Elizabeth II in January.

She announced three new “gender grants” from the ACU for South African universities, the goal of which she said was gender equality and supporting women working in higher education and research roles.

The duchess also announced four new Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships that she said would see students from Tanzania, Zambia and Nigeria study in South Africa next year.

The royal family arrived in South Africa on September 23 to begin their 10-day visit of the continent.

This is the couple’s first official trip since the birth of their first child, Archie, who was born in May. It is also the first time Meghan is visiting South Africa.

While Meghan and Archie only stayed in South Africa, Prince Harry toured three other countries; Botswana, Angola and Malawi.

The royal family is expected to fly back to the U.K. on Wednesday.

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