Friday 9 December 2016

Prince Harry makes impassioned speech for women’s rights in Nepal

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 24/03/2016 | 10:02

Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari (R) and Britain's Prince Harry (L) shake hands during the start of the Nepal Girls Summit 2016 in Kathmandu on March 23, 2016.
Photo: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari (R) and Britain's Prince Harry (L) shake hands during the start of the Nepal Girls Summit 2016 in Kathmandu on March 23, 2016. Photo: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry speaks during the start of the Nepal Girls Summit 2016 in Kathmandu on March 23, 2016. Photo: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Prince Harry meets young burns victim Pemba Sherpa, 5 and mother Doma at Kanti Children's Hospital on the final day of his tour of the country on March 23, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Established in 1963 the hospital has a capacity of 320 beds and treats children up to the age of 14. Many of it's patients have been injured whilst living in the hazardous environments of the camps following the earthquake. (Photo by Adam Gerrard - Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry capped off his visit to Nepal yesterday afternoon by delivering a powerful speech supporting the fight against child marriage.

  • Go To

Swapping tourism for activism, Prince Harry drew his five-day visit to a close by making a stop at Kathmandu to attend the Nepal Girl Summit.

At the event, backed by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the British royal gave a speech about gender inequality in Nepalese society and put his support behind the fight to end child marriages.

“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 told the crowd at the summit.

Britain's Prince Harry speaks during the start of the Nepal Girls Summit 2016 in Kathmandu on March 23, 2016. Photo: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry speaks during the start of the Nepal Girls Summit 2016 in Kathmandu on March 23, 2016. Photo: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

He echoed the US First Lady Michelle Obama when he asserted that change “needs to come from the bottom up”.

“We won't unlock these opportunities for young women and girls unless we can change the mind-set of every family and community. To achieve this, it cannot just be women who speak up for girls.”

He went on to share some devastating statistics about the lack of education for girls and child marriages in the developing world.

"Here in Nepal, nearly half of all women who are today in their 20s, 30s and 40s were married before their 18th birthdays. And a little under half gave birth while still in their teens," he said.

Prince Harry meets young burns victim Pemba Sherpa, 5 and mother Doma at Kanti Children's Hospital on the final day of his tour of the country on March 23, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Established in 1963 the hospital has a capacity of 320 beds and treats children up to the age of 14. Many of it's patients have been injured whilst living in the hazardous environments of the camps following the earthquake. (Photo by Adam Gerrard - Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry meets young burns victim Pemba Sherpa, 5 and mother Doma at Kanti Children's Hospital on the final day of his tour of the country on March 23, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Established in 1963 the hospital has a capacity of 320 beds and treats children up to the age of 14. Many of it's patients have been injured whilst living in the hazardous environments of the camps following the earthquake. (Photo by Adam Gerrard - Pool/Getty Images)

"It may be obvious to say it, but girls who marry young stay at home. They don't finish school. And they soon become locked in a cycle of illiteracy, poverty, ill health and, ultimately, powerlessness.”

He advocated for better education to break this cycle, before praising the president of Nepal as an inspirational example of female leadership.

“I am proud to stand with you today,” he concluded.

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in this section