Meghan Markle made a surprise — and rare — appearance at Spotify’s Los Angeles headquarters on Tuesday, Oct. 18 to stand in solidarity with Iranian protesters. The Duchess of Sussex, 41, spoke at a private event for [email protected], a women resource group for Spotify employees, and dedicated her speech to the Iranian women and girls currently fighting for their rights in the Middle Eastern country. She also showed her support by wearing a black t-shirt with “Women, Life, Freedom” written across the front in white lettering in the Farsi language, as seen in the below photo.
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The former actress was accompanied by two top-tier members of her and Prince Harry‘s media and nonprofit organization, Archewell: president Mandana Dayani and head of global communications Ashley Hansen. Both women are Iranian. In the above post to Instagram, Mandana gushed about Meghan’s dedication to raising awareness about the struggles in her native country.
“At an event today, Meghan spoke about the revolution being led by women and young girls in Iran, the courage and bravery they show every day, and their leadership and advocacy of basic human rights: women, life, freedom,” she wrote in the second paragraph of her caption. “As an Iranian woman who fled her home country in pursuit of these very freedoms, I could not have been more grateful for how she chooses, again and again, to advocate for women around the world. Proud day at Archewell, and especially for me and Ashley Momtaheni.”
Mandana, who also founded the nonpartisan organization I am a voter, also referenced Meghan’s shirt in the opening lines of her caption. “Women. Life. Freedom. Allies have shown up in so many forms over the past month since the death of Mahsa Amini,” she proudly stated. “I am so grateful to work with incredible women like Meghan and my fellow Iranian colleague and friend, Ashley Momtaheni, as we continue to highlight the bravery and courage of the women and young girls on the frontlines of one of the most important feminist movements of our lives.”
Mahsa Amini was a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died in mid-September while in police custody after being arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely, according to CBS News. Her family claimed she was tortured while in custody, which led to her death. Protests have been going strong since her death. Sadly, there have been 75 casualties reported amid the protests.
Meghan’s solidarity with the women of Iran came just one day after she recalled her experience as a “briefcase girl” on the popular gameshow Deal or No Deal in the early 2000s. During her Spotify podcast Archetypes, she claimed she was “objectified” on the show and eventually quit because she did not feel right about the job. “I didn’t like being forced to be all looks and little substance, and that’s how it felt for me at the time. Being reduced to this specific archetype: the word ‘bimbo,’” she explained.