Yesterday it was revealed that Meghan Markle made her first outing in Canada – where she, Prince Harry and Archie will now call home part-time – to visit the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver. The organization shared an image of the Duchess with the centre’s team, and acting centre director, Kate Gibson, spoke of Meghan’s interest in the shelter and the work it is doing to support vulnerable women.
And it turns out that wasn’t the only visit the Duchess made this week, as Vancouver-based women’s rights organization Justice For Girls, has revealed Meghan also stopped by their offices on the same day. Taking to Twitter to share two images of Meghan, it wrote, “Yesterday, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle visited to discuss climate justice for girls and the right of Indigenous peoples. Was great to talk about the importance of a holistic approach to social justice, and the power of young women’s leadership.”
According to media reports, an aide for the Duchess contacted the centre telling them that Meghan found their work “credible and compelling.” Speaking with Harper’s Bazaar US, co-director Zoe Craig-Sparrow said, “We were very moved by the Duchess visiting us despite the terrible weather conditions in Vancouver and her very recent arrival. We were struck by how engaged and informed she was on the issues we discussed, and how quickly and gracefully she put us at ease.” She continued, “She was well-informed about the rights of girls and women and the need to challenge social inequality in a way that is holistic and global. Some of the issues we talked about included violence against girls; poverty and how it impacts access to education; girls’ rights in relation to the environment; leadership globally on issues of social and environmental justice; parallels between the struggles of girls in Canada with girls around the world; the need to approach social change in a holistic and integrated way, and how our proposed Justice for Girls Centre aims to do just that.”
The organization was founded in 1999 to campaign for the rights of girls and women in the areas of violence, homelessness and poverty. The former is of particular importance, particularly in relation to indigenous girls and women. “This work is critically important in Canada where the impacts of colonization continue to harm indigenous girls and women through epidemic violence, social and economic inequality, environmental racism and denial of the rights of Indigenous peoples,” Craig-Sparrow told the site. She added that she is optimistic about Meghan will do with her time in Canada, saying, “[Meghan] will bring her commitment and intelligence to the issues she cares about, especially the rights of women and girls, and will use her position to help.”
Prince Harry has not yet joined his family in Canada due to prior official commitments in London. Today, he hosted the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace. It is thought that this could mark his last official event as a senior royal. It is expected the Duke of Sussex will fly out to Vancouver once details of the pair’s new life have been hammered out with the Queen and royal officials. An announcement on that is expected this week.