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11 March 2019

The Duchess of Sussex visits King's on International Women's Day

An inspirational panel convened by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust

On Friday 8 March, King's was proud to host distinguished guests including HRH The Duchess of Sussex for an International Women's Day panel discussion convened by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

The overarching theme of the panel discussion was the value of education in enabling young girls and women to reach their full potential, and the importance of engaging boys and men in the global feminist movement. The event was attended by students, opinion formers and young leaders who are taking action to achieve gender equality. 

“Inequality is a global issue, so we’re all experiencing the same issues in different ways. As a united force, we have to tackle this. We have to see it as a global challenge that we’re all looking to solve. When women miss out on careers, education or opportunities because of the system that they live in, we all suffer. It affects everything.”

HRH The Duchess of Sussex, newly appointed Vice-President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust

Those joining The Duchess to share their views were Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London; Annie Lennox OBE, founder of The Circle, an organisation supporting and empowering women’s lives around the world; Adwoa Aboah, founder of Gurls Talk, an open community where young girls can talk about the issues that matter to them; Chrisann Jarrett, Founder of Let us Learn; and Angeline Murimirwa, Executive Director of the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) in Africa and co-founder of CAMA, a pan-African network of young female leaders. The panel was chaired by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor of The Economist.

Some of the issues that the panel discussed included their personal experiences of gender inequality, their views on global issues that have a significant impact on women (such as period poverty), and the need to engage boys and men in the conversation on gender equality. 

Women are the mothers of the world - we deserve to be respected, globally. I’d like every man to be able to stand up and say ‘I am a global feminist.’

Annie Lennox, OBE

I wanted to take a step towards helping other women towards having the opportunity [of going to university] that I did. If it starts with educating a girl, it has to lead to women having more leadership opportunities. Educating people around global feminism isn’t exclusive to women. We need to have boys in the conversation so they don’t just mimic what they see at home.

Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London

It was an honour for King's to support The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust in hosting the panel, which highlighted the importance of amplifying the voices of those furthest from power and creating the environment where all young people, women and men, have the tools and the recognition they need to succeed.

The full panel discussion is available to watch on The Queen's Commonwealth Trust YouTube channel

Throughout March, we are celebrating and elevating women in the King's community. Find out more about our #WomenOfKings campaign, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for inspiring stories of the students, staff and alumnae who are making the world a better place.