Former actress and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, is a renowned advocate for several social causes.
Although her marriage to Prince Harry made her retreat into a quieter life as required by protocols – their decision to step down as an active member of England’s royal family reignited the embers within her.
Since then, Markle and her partner have relocated to California, United States, for a fresh start so that their lives are no longer stifled by royal protocols. Over time, she has lent her voice to several issues plaguing America’s society with a particular interest in women’s affairs.
Many have praised her efforts, while some are suspicious of her actions, alleging that she has a hidden agenda spurring her. Whatever the case may be, she has remained relentless in pursuing the various causes dear to her.
She recently joined the clamor for paid parental leave and has employed several tactics to ensure that the voices of the affected are heard and answered.
An Advocacy Letter
One of the many methods Markle has employed is to send her written thoughts to a change agent. On October 20, 2021, she acted in such a manner by addressing an open letter to two top-ranking U.S politicians Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.
The letter published on Paid Leave For All website emphasized the plight of women in America who were reaping the devastating effects of the pandemic.
“Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities,” Markle scribed.
“At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.”
Furthermore, in the letter, she highlighted how her financial privilege afforded her the means to take care of her newborn daughter without needing to make tough decisions. She then strongly suggested that other women should be afforded the same opportunity in the form of a paid leave.
To further impress the issue on the hearts of the power holders, Markle has sought meetings with several congress members. Alongside another advocate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), they have made progress in contacting the right people.
“I talked to each of the women senators and let them know that she’s going to reach out because she only completed two of the calls,” Gillibrand said as per Politico. “She’s going to call some others, so I let them know in advance.”
She added: “She wants to be part of a working group to work on paid leave long term, and she’s going to be. Whether this comes to fruition now or later, she’ll be part of a group of women that hopefully will work on paid leave together.”
Among the list of power brokers privy to her, Markle has cold-called Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to voice her opinion on the issue.
Markle Started Advocating From An Early Age
Like the idiom that says, “Rome was not built in a day,” Markle’s activism started at the early age of 11.
Her first ardent push for change to various societal issues came after watching a sexist advert on television. The tweenager was unhappy with the gender disparity in the ad and penned down a letter to Procter & Gamble, the conglomerate that owned it.
Her efforts spurred the soap company to change the wording in the commercial to something more appropriate.
At a UN Women’s Conference in Beijing in 2015, Markle reflected on this act and revealed how it drew her to activism. “The soap manufacturer Procter & Gamble changed the commercial for their ivory clear dish-washing liquid,” she said as per CNBC.
“They changed it from ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ to ‘People all over America.’ It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions. At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.”
Is there A Political Ambition In The Horizon?
Many have speculated that Markle’s constant advocacy roles are to prepare a platform for a political career in the future. One of those with such a view is author Tom Bower, who alleged he has a book about Markle in the works – where he stated that the Duchess has her sight on the White House.
“This is a claim from a journalist Tom Bower – he has written a book about Markle, it’s an unauthorized biography set to be released sometime next year,” as reported by The Express.
“In that book, he describes Markle’s political ambitions as not having gone away. He says that the Duchess has many, many exciting things ahead for her, and her next plan is to conquer America and then conquer the world.”
For now, Markle has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations and remains focused on her advocacy goals.