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October 4, 2019

On her 10-day tour across South Africa, the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle paid a special visit to ActionAid South Africa in hopes to both raise awareness about gender-based violence in the country and also learn more about the incredible work our colleagues there are doing to end violence against women and girls.

Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle (right) speaks with ActionAid South Africa Country Director Nondumiso Nsibande (left).

“When a woman is empowered, it changes absolutely everything in the community.” L-R: Nondumiso Nsibande, ActionAid South Africa Country Director; Meghan Markkle, Duchess of Sussex. Photo: ActionAid

Markle met with ActionAid staff to discuss the importance of making sure victims feel supported when they report or talk about any gender-based violence they experience. They also talked about how important it is for men and boys to be held accountable for their actions.

Nondumiso Nsibande, ActionAid Country Director, reflected on the conversation:

“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.”

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.

Learn more about our work on women’s rights.