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Meghan Markle, Supporting Human Rights Since She Was 11

While most of us may think of royalty or even of the TV drama Suits, when listening to the name Meghan Markle, the truth is she is one of the most influential women in the battle for gender equality.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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Markle began her journey as an advocate for human rights when she was 11 years old and attended elementary school. From the year 2014, she has helped to make more visible the need for equality between women and men and has been an Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership for the women’s agency of the United Nations. During her time at UN Women, she has visited the World Bank and has even met up with the team of Hilary Clinton when she was Secretary of State to learn more about the quest for gender equality.

After her engagement to Prince Harry, UN Women announced their hopes for Meghan Markle to use her visibility and voice in her new role, to support the advancement of gender equality. Later on, at the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing, 2015, Meghan pronounced the following words "When I was just 11 years old, I unknowingly and somehow accidentally became a female advocate."

More than 20 years ago, Meghan was watching a TV program whilst at school when a dishwashing liquid commercial was transmitted. The commercial said, "Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans." She recalls that two of the boys from her class said, "yes, that’s where women belong, in the kitchen." 

Also read: WOMEN OF AFGHANISTAN: BETWEEN THE FORGETFULNESS OF THE WEST AND THE ISLAMIC WORLD

She felt angry and sad and went home to tell her father all that happen. It was her father who then encouraged her to write letters to Hillary Clinton, TV journalist Linda Ellerbee, Gloria Allred, and to the soap manufacturer. They all replied showing their support, and soon Proctor and Gamble changed the commercial eliminating the word women from the phrase. The commercial changed from "Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" to "people all over America."

After the dishwashing soap episode, Markle began to realize that her actions could have a large impact. Markle has alerted the world during her speeches, that even though UN Women has set 2030 as the expiration date for gender inequality and despite the fact that women represent more than 50% of the world’s population, their voices remain unheard at the highest levels of decision-making. 

In her speech at The Time is Now, Meghan said: "Believing in true equality is not enough — it’s going to take more than belief, we have to work for it every day; even when it’s hard and even when it makes others feel uneasy. We have to speak up for ourselves and we have to speak out for others who struggle to be heard." In her words, Markle has delivered powerful messages that aim to encourage people to stand up for what they believe is right and mostly to chase their convictions with actions. Markle's ideology serves as a constant reminder, that women should support each other and work together to build a world that is better for themselves.

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