Meghan Markle will confront ‘dark shadow’ of gender violence during Africa trip

Meghan Markle will address the issue of gender violence the moment she lands in South Africa for a nine-day trip with her family, according to reports.

The Duchess of Sussex, who has made women's rights the a focus of her agenda, will tackle the issue within hours of landing with Prince Harry and their four-month-old son Archie in Cape Town on Monday, sources close to the couple said.

Despite royals usually not involving themselves in the politics of their host country, it is understood the couple will not be able to ignore the urgent issue during their nine-day tour there.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday declared feminicide a national crisis after August was recorded to be the deadliest month for crimes against women in the history of the country, with more than 30 women losing their lives.

"There is a dark and heavy shadow across our land. Women and children are under siege," Mr Ramaphosa said, describing South Africa as one of "the most unsafe places in world to be a woman".

Thousands took to the streets at the beginning of the month dressed in black and purple to commemorate the victims amid a rate of 137 sexual offences, mainly against women, committed on a daily basis.

The government declared the state of emergency as it released a report saying one woman is murdered every three hours, with many of them being raped and assaulted prior to their death.

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