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Meghan Markle perfectly explains why we need a pandemic recovery plan that supports women

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Lauren Geall
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Meghan Markle

Speaking at Global Citizen’s Vax Live concert to encourage people to get vaccinated and push for vaccine equity, Meghan Markle highlighted the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on women – and called for a recovery plan which took this into consideration.

Meghan Markle has never been one to stay quiet on the issues that matter.

Whether she’s honouring the “quiet heroes” of the pandemic, speaking out against police brutality or advocating for women’s rights, the Duchess of Sussex has repeatedly used her platform to highlight the causes close to her heart and push for real, meaningful change.

How apt, then, that her first television appearance since her and Prince Harry’s big interview with Oprah Winfrey saw her continuing to do just that. 

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Appearing in a pre-recorded message for the Global Citizen Vax Live concert on Saturday evening, Meghan spoke about how the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on women and called for a recovery plan which gives women the opportunities they need to bounce back as the world returns to ‘normal’.

“The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle Covid-19, and we’ve gathered together tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter, but it’s going to take every one of us to find our way forward,” she said.  

“As campaign chairs of Vax Live, my husband and I believe it’s critical that our recovery prioritises the health, safety and success of everyone – and particularly women, who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.” 

Highlighting the myriad of ways in which women have been affected by the pandemic, including the rise in reports of domestic abuse and the “the increased responsibility of unpaid care work”, Meghan stressed that the world is at an “inflection point” for gender equality.

“Women, and especially women of colour, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out,” she added.

Going on to speak about the important role a fair and equal vaccine roll out would play in ensuring women have access to opportunities post-pandemic, Meghan finished by reflecting on her own pregnancy and the importance of supporting future generations, as well as placing a focus on a “global community”.  

“My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter,” she said. “It’s a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world, and when we think of her, we think of all the women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward.

“Their future leadership depends on the decisions we make, and the actions we take now, to set them up, and to set all of us up, for a successful, equitable and compassionate tomorrow.”

Meghan concluded: “Across the world we’ve struggled together. Now we deserve to heal together. We want to make sure that as we recover, we recover stronger. That as we rebuild, we rebuild together.” 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.