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Meghan Markle Spends International Women's Day at SXSW

2024 sxsw conference and festival breaking barriers, shaping narratives how women lead on and off the screen
Meghan Markle at SXSWMat Hayward - Getty Images

Meghan Markle is in Texas!

The Duchess of Sussex is in Austin today, for the opening day of the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. She's there to participate in a keynote panel, titled, "Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen," alongside Katie Couric, Brooke Shields, Nancy Wang Yuen, and Errin Haines. The five women are described by SXSW as "visionary female leaders at the forefront of news, media, entertainment, and philanthropy who are breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, and working toward a healthier society on and off our screens."

"We are so honored to host this distinguished group on International Women’s Day for a significant discussion on the importance of representation in media and entertainment," Hugh Forrest, Co-President and Chief Programming Officer, said in a statement.

For the occasion, Meghan wore a chic champagne button down blouse with subtle stripes and matching maxi skirt, along with chunky gold earrings, and pale flats.

"On a personal level, I’ve just always loved understanding women and our stories and our lived experiences," Meghan said, speaking to her interest in the depictions of women in media. The duchess went on to discuss the value of diversity in the media landscape, her experiences with social media bullying—"I keep my distance from it right now just for my own well-being,"—and the future of women in media. Calling back to her friend and feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Meghan called her an inspiration, adding, "Whether you’re a 9 year old girl or a 90 year old woman, you can absolutely continue to make the change that we all need."

The keynote panel about women on and off the screen comes on the heels of the announcement that Meghan signed a new podcast deal with Lemonada Media. "I'm proud to now be able to share that I am joining the brilliant team at Lemonada to continue my love of podcasting," the Duchess of Sussex said in a statement. "Being able to support a female founded company with a roster of thought provoking and highly entertaining podcasts is a fantastic way to kick off 2024." Her former Spotify podcast, Archetypes, is now on all podcast platforms (before it was a Spotify exclusive), and her new podcast is currently in the works.

The appearance in Austin marks Meghan's first major U.S. event this year. Last month, she and Prince Harry traveled to British Columbia for three days of engagements marking one year to go until the 2025 Invictus Games.

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