The most inspiring quotes from Duchess Meghan's International Women's Day panel

By Sarah Walker

Well known as an activist and feminist, it was no surprise when the Duchess of Sussex joined a group of five inspiring women at Kings College London for International Women's Day on March 8. And the duchess, who's gearing up to become a first-time mom, had more than a few words of wisdom for change makers.

Scroll down for all her best quotes from the panel...

She joined musician and activist Annie Lennox, model and activist Adwoa Aboah, former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, Let Us Learn founder Chrisann Jarrett, executive director of Campaign for Female Education Angeline Murimirwa and Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor of the Economist as host in London to discuss the importance of raising women up.

Meghan spoke about the importance of empowering women. Photo: © Getty Images

On women's rights and equality

Though the event was private, many of the panel's most moving quotes made it to social media, including those from Duchess Meghan who has been a long-standing advocate for women's rights and equality.

“We must be global feminists and include men and boys," the 37-year-old said when asked about the importance of men being part of the feminist movement. “If you have young boys as part of this conversation, you’re moving the needle in a different way... It’s not just about girls going to school and becoming smart women, it’s knowing that those smart girls become influential women and that ends up changing the world for the better.”

On women supporting other women

She also addressed the importance of women supporting and standing up for one another. "If things are wrong and there is a lack of justice and an inequality, someone needs to say something – and why can't it be you?" She added that chiming into important conversations requires more than posting something to social media. "Hashtags are not enough."

On her pregnancy

As part of the discussion, the mom to be also spoke about how she's been feeling during her pregnancy. "It’s funny, I’ve actually been joking the last few weeks. I had seen this documentary on Netflix about feminism, and one of the things they said during pregnancy was ‘I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism.’ I loved that, so boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that’s the case with our little bump."

On the importance of education

This is, of course, not the first time Meghan has spoken openly about women's issues. The 37-year-old has been a long-standing advocate for women's issues. While visiting the University of the South Pacific in Fiji with her husband in October 2018, she gave an impassioned speech about the importance of education for women who can "create incredible futures" when "given the right tools to succeed."

It was an inspiring group of women! Photo: © Getty Images

The future mom shared her belief that learning should be for all. “Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive," she said. "And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital."

She added: "I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university. From the moment you receive your acceptance letter, to the exams you spend countless late nights studying for, the lifelong friendships you make with your fellow alumni."

She concluded the speech with a toast to the students. "My husband Harry and I wish you all the very best of luck as you continue your studies and work. Your efforts now will help to make a positive future for each of you and your communities at large. Congratulations to you all!"

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