Sophie Countess of Wessex to speak out on ‘inspirational’ global cause ahead of birthday

Queen joins Sophie Wessex for World Sight Day video call

The Countess has been invited to speak at an event hosted by the UN Security Council’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda in less than two weeks. It takes place on January 19 – the day before her 56th birthday.

The online event is due to feature Sophie, who has previously discussed issues facing women worldwide including violence and gender inequality.

The London School of Economics said in a statement detailing the event: “Her Royal Highness is passionate about supporting women and championing gender equality and devotes much of her time to supporting the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI).

“Since announcing her commitment to champion this work in 2019, The Countess has met regularly with women peacebuilders, survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, activists and academics to further the agenda, draw attention to the issues and deepen her knowledge of the international effort.”

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The Countess is due to speak alongside Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, the LSE’s Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security.

They will join Visaka Dharmadasa, founder of the Association of War Affected Women and Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action, and Abir Haj Ibrahim, a Syrian peace activist who has worked with global organisations such as UNICEF.

The LSE says its Centre for Women, Peace and Security is a leading academic space in which experts can talk about how to promote justice in conflicts around the world.

READ: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, stuns royal fans with surprise visit to food bank

In November last year, Sophie spoke out in support of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Women.

Using the Royal Family’s official Twitter page, the Countess wrote: “To the inspirational survivors I have met through my support for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict – we will continue to fight against the stigma and silence.”

Sophie carried out a number of engagements last year amid the coronavirus pandemic which saw her quarantine for a time.

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In October, she spoke from her home as she virtually attended a Pitches for Peace event in which she called for more women to be involved in peace negotiations globally.

She said, according to Hello! magazine: “My hope is that these discussions will form the basis for moving the dial towards real progress in supporting the objective of increased participation by women at peace negotiations around the world.”

The Countess is married to Prince Edward, 56, who is a son of the Queen.

As a full-time member of the Royal Family, Sophie divides her time between charitable causes and supporting the Queen.

According to the official Royal website, she serves as a patron of more than 70 such charities and organisations and regularly attends public engagements and visits, in normal times.

The Mirror reports the Countess has become “more prominent” throughout the coronavirus crisis.

But she is not the only royal to celebrate a birthday this month. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is due to turn 39 on January 9.

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