A speech delivered by The Duchess of Sussex at the visit to The Justice Desk, Nyanga Township, South Africa

Published

You have welcomed us into this community, have been open and honest with us, both about the dangers women and children face, and about how you are addressing them.

Hello! It is such privilege to meet all of you today and to start our visit, my first time in South Africa, here in Nyanga.

We have just spent some time seeing all the incredible work that the Justice Desk does and of course all of you amazing women and the men who are here helping you, Mbokodo, you are incredible and what you’re doing is so powerful, because you’re all powerful.

The work that’s being done here is to keep women and children safer, which is needed now more than ever. This is an issue that’s been at the forefront of people’s minds here in South Africa, and of course across the globe, particularly over this past month.

Please know that my husband and I have been closely following what you’ve been experiencing here – as best we can from afar. But now that we are with you, we are eager to learn and see first-hand the work that you’re doing, the vital work that you’re doing, and that everything that is being done on the ground is making the great change that you not only need but that you deserve.

You have welcomed us into this community, have been open and honest with us, both about the dangers women and children face, and about how you are addressing them. The rights of women and girls is something that is very close to my heart, and the cause I have spent the majority of my life advocating for because I know that when women are empowered, the entire community flourishes.

So to be able to meet all of you today who are standing up for what’s right in the face of adversity, I applaud you. We are encouraged to hear your President take the next steps to work towards preventing gender-based violence through education and necessary changes to reinforce the values of modern South Africa.

I do have to say I feel incredibly humbled to be in the presence of all of you as you stand firm in your core values of respect, dignity and equality.

I read a quote a few weeks ago and it resonated with me as I’ve been watching what’s been happening here and your active efforts. Maya Angelou, the legendary poet and civil rights activist, once said: “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

Now I know it’s not easy and I know it must feel insurmountable at times, but your commitment to what is right gives all of us hope, especially your brothers and sisters here in your community who need you to continue to shine your light brightly. Your commitment is inspiring, it is energising and it is extraordinary. You must keep going, you must know that what you’re doing not only matters, it is vital because YOU are vital.

And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of The Royal Family, I want you to know that for me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister. I am here with you and I am here FOR you and I thank you so much for showing my husband and I the spirit of Ubuntu and I look forward to our time over the next few days together.

Thank you so much for having us.

 

Related content

A speech by The Duke of Sussex at the OnSide Awards at the Royal Albert Hall

It’s because of all of your efforts that 50,000 young people are getting access to such amazing experiences every single year.

17 November 2019
Feature

Remembrance 2019

Members of the Royal Family remember the war dead.

The Duke of Sussex's speech at the WellChild Awards 2019

Each of you, through your heartfelt commitments, make it possible for these and other children to live the life that they deserve – at home, with their families

16 October 2019
News

World Mental Health Day 2019

10 October 2019

A speech delivered by The Duchess of Sussex at the Creative Industries and Business Reception, Johannesburg

At our visit this earlier this morning I was struck by a small sign that was posted on the wall for the female entrepreneurs – and it said: “visualize your highest self, and...

02 October 2019

Remarks made by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex at the Youth Employment Services, Johannesburg

There’s so much ingenuity here, there’s so much promise here, that given the right level of support and resources that you need, the potential is astronomical, and you can see...

02 October 2019

A speech delivered by The Duke of Sussex at the Youth Employment Services, Johannesburg

In my role as The Queen’s Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, I am so incredibly fortunate to meet young people who are determined to make a real difference and make their mark on...

02 October 2019

A speech delivered by The Duke of Sussex at The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Dedication in Malawi

As The Queen’s Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, I am particularly proud of how this programme will create a physical legacy of Her Majesty’s leadership of the Commonwealth - not...

30 September 2019

A speech by The Duke of Sussex at the visit to The Princess Diana Orthopaedic Centre, Huambo, Angola

I am humbled and honoured that my mother’s work and commitment to demining continues to inspire and that her legacy is being recognised and celebrated today with the naming of...

27 September 2019

A speech delivered by The Duke of Sussex at a HALO Trust minefield, Dirico, Angola

Landmines are an unhealed scar of war. By clearing the landmines, we can help this community find peace, and with peace comes opportunity.

27 September 2019

A speech by The Duke of Sussex at a visit to the Justice Desk, Cape Town, South Africa

We are so incredibly grateful to be able to listen and learn from you about the issues that define your daily lives in these communities. And that’s what this is, a community.

23 September 2019

A speech delivered by The Duchess of Sussex at the launch of the Smart Works capsule collection in London

As women, it is one hundred percent our responsibility, I think, to support and uplift each other

12 September 2019

A speech by The Duke of Sussex at the Invictus Games Foundation 5th anniversary event

I think for me this has always been about the competitors and their families. What they represent, the strength and determination, the grit, every part of it.

11 September 2019

The Duke of Sussex's speech at the launch of Travalyst in Amsterdam

We have the opportunity to address this tourism paradox and turn one of the world’s biggest problems into one of its greatest solutions

03 September 2019
News

International Youth Day 2019

12 August 2019

A speech delivered by The Duke of Sussex at the Chatham House Africa Programme event

Thank you Honourable Minister, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pleasure in joining you to focus on such an important collaborative goal. This event is the culmination of a great...

17 June 2019

A speech delivered by The Duke of Sussex at Founder’s Day

We should all be incredibly proud and grateful knowing that 46 of you here fought in the Second World War... I thank you for inviting me here today and I wish you all the...

06 June 2019

A speech delivered by The Duke of Sussex at the opening game of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019

Cities across England and Wales will come alive over the next six weeks as World Cup fever sweeps the nation once more

30 May 2019
Feature

Prince Archie of Sussex

Find out more about Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
Press release 06 May 2019

The Duchess of Sussex has been delivered of a son

Read more
Press release 06 May 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Update

Read more

The Duke of Sussex's speech at WE Day UK

To be amongst all of you progressive, motivated, open minded, change-makers, is what gives me hope for the future

06 March 2019

A speech by The Duke of Sussex at The Endeavour Fund Awards

You do not have to be defined by your injury or disability. It does not have to hold you back.

07 February 2019
Press release 08 February 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Morocco

Read more