Harry and Meghan to tackle gender violence on first day of SA tour

21 September 2019 - 11:13 By Dave Chambers
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, at the wedding of fashion designer Misha Nonoo in Rome, Italy, on September 20 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, at the wedding of fashion designer Misha Nonoo in Rome, Italy, on September 20 2019.
Image: Reuters/Remo Casilli

The Duchess of Sussex, better known as former actress Meghan Markle, will tackle the issue of gender-based violence when she arrives in SA on Monday.

The duchess, who is accompanying her husband Prince Harry and their four-month-old son Archie on a nine-day visit to southern Africa, will raise the issue on their first engagement in a Cape Town township, MailOnline reported on Saturday.

“It would be strange for them not to address [gender-based violence] in the current climate given how much of their official programme, particularly the duchess’s, is about women and women’s issues,” a source told MailOnline.

“But it will, of course, be done respectfully.”

One of the duchess’s engagements on October 1, during the Johannesburg leg of the tour, will involve opening a “gender-based violence education club”.

The couple will end their tour the following day by meeting President Cyril Ramaphosa, who this week announced an emergency plan to stop the resurgence in violence against women.

Speaking to an emergency joint sitting of parliament, he said SA had become one of “the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman”.

The murder in August of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, 19, sparked an uprising against gender violence which culminated in Wednesday’s joint sitting.

Mrwetyana’s family told TimesLIVE: “We will forever be grateful that Uyinene’s life and her passing became the turning point.”