The latest episode of Meghan Markle‘s podcast Archetypes saw the Duchess of Sussex discuss the criticism that comes with female activism. Joining her for the conversation were actors Jameela Jamil, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Ilana Glazer, who too have been at the receiving end of flak from the public for talking about social justice issues and advocating for women’s rights.
Concluding the episode, Markle revealed the advice she was given “just a few days” before her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 by “a very, very influential and inspiring woman, who for her own privacy I won’t share who it was with you.” According to the Duchess, these wise words were key to Markle holding on to her advocacy. “She said to me, I know that your life is changing, but please don’t give up your activism. Don’t give up because it means so much to women and girls,” shared Markle. “And I kept doing the work for women and girls because it matters, yes. But also because she encouraged me to do so. And the collective voice of all of us telling each other that matters is perhaps the point. There’s safety in numbers. But there’s also strength in numbers.”
The Duchess of Sussex’s passion for activism and women empowerment dates back to when she was just 11 years old. Watching a Procter & Gamble commercial advertising its dishwashing soap solely to women during a segment on Nick News back then made Markle call out the sexism: “I don’t think it’s right for kids to grow up thinking these things, that just mom does everything,” she told the outlet. In 2018, a few months ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry, she spoke at the first annual Royal Foundation Forum, highlighting the importance of listening to women. “I hear a lot of people speaking about girls’ empowerment and women’s empowerment — you will hear people saying they are helping women find their voices,” she said. “I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find their voices, they need to be empowered to use it and people need to be urged to listen.” More recently, the Duchess of Sussex was spotted wearing a T-shirt with the words “Women, Life, Freedom” written in Farsi amid the protests in Iran at the Women@Spotify event.