Meghan Markle, Pregnant, International Women's Day Panel

Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/PA Wire

Pregnant Meghan Markle is championing gender equality and feminism on International Women's Day.

The Duchess of Sussex made her comments on Friday in a panel discussion of female thought-leaders and activists, including singer and philanthropist Annie Lennox, held at King's College London and convened by The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, to discuss a range of issues affecting women today.

Earlier on Friday, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II has appointed Meghan vice president of the organization, and that in her new role, she is set to "highlight the Trust's partnerships with young people across the Commonwealth, and in particular its work supporting women and girls." Her husband Prince Harry is president of the group and the queen serves as royal patron.

"If things are wrong and there is a lack of justice and an inequality, someone needs to say something, and why can't it be you?" Meghan said during the panel. "I agree with Annie Lennox that we must be global feminists and include men and boys."

"I've said for a long time you can be feminine and a feminist, you can be masculine," Meghan told the crowd. "And I think in terms of masculinity you understand that your strength includes knowing your vulnerabilities and your sense of self and security, and your confidence comes from knowing a woman by your side, not behind you, is actually something you should not be threatened about - as opposed you should feel really empowered in having that."

At the event, Meghan, who is in the third trimester of her pregnancy with her and Harry's first child, showcased her baby bump in a short, high-neck black and white patterned Reiss dress, paired with a black blazer and matching pumps.

Panel chairwoman and The Economist senior editor Anne McElvoy asked Meghan, who is in the third trimester of her pregnancy, "How's the bump treating you?"

The duchess responded, "Very well." She also said she had been watching a "documentary about feminism on Netflix and one of the things they said during pregnancy was, 'I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism'."

"I loved that," she said. "Boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that's the case."

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