Prince Harry Gives Empowering Feminist Speech In Nepal

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
On Wednesday, Prince Harry gave a powerful speech at the Nepal Girl Summit in Kathmandu, standing alongside Nepal’s first female president, Bidhya Devi Bhandari. The U.K. prince spoke on behalf of young girls in Nepal and around the world that face various obstacles in their lives. Prince Harry addressed the lack of inadequate education provided to 62 million girls globally and Nepal’s high rate of child marriages. “Here in Nepal, nearly half of all women who are today in their twenties, thirties and forties were married before their eighteenth birthdays," he said. "And a little under half gave birth while still in their teens.” While he did mention that gender inequality was not a topic he has spoken about in great detail in the past, it still is something that is obvious to him and everyone in the room. “Whether it's a girl in Lesotho living with HIV; or the talented young woman in Britain who doesn't get taken seriously because of where she grew up; or the 14-year-old girl forced out of school so she can get married here in Nepal; we need to acknowledge that so many countries and cultures are failing to protect the opportunities of young women and girls in the way they do for boys,” he said during his speech. Prince Harry said that the only way the cycle of inequality, illiteracy, and poverty among women in many areas of the world is broken, is through education. He called on both women and men to speak on behalf of girls, saying, “I believe it is vitally important for men like me to acknowledge this as loudly and openly as role models do like President Bhandari, the U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and activists like Malala.”
The female leadership in Nepal, including the President and the Speaker, are helping inspire progressive changes for the country. Prince Harry stated that child marriage, which is now officially banned by law, has “fallen by 10% over the last decade." The government is hoping to end child marriages by 2030.
Prince Harry is extending his trip in Nepal, where he was visiting survivors of last year’s earthquake, to rebuild a school that was damaged by the disaster.

More from Global News

R29 Original Series