Meghan Markle undertook one of her final engagements as a working royal on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020. The Duchess of Sussex visited pupils at Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham, sharing a passionate message urging students to “speak up for what is right.” Meghan has long been an outspoken advocate for gender equality and the right of young girls to education.
Addressing a 700-strong assembly, the Duchess of Sussex said: “When we thought about what I wanted to do for International Women’s Day this year, for me it was incredibly important to be with the women of our future.
“And that is all of the young women here, as well as the young men who play a very large part in this.
“Specifically coming to your school made a lot of sense for me because of this social justice and the impact that it’s rooted in.”
She continued: “No matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what color you are, no matter what gender you are—you have a voice, and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.”
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“What’s really key for all of you to remember, is especially looking at the people who paved the way for you to get to this point in your lives to be able to have the access that you do—it’s not just an opportunity to continue that, it’s a responsibility.”
She renewed her appeal in a heartfelt letter to the students in 2021, urging them to keep on celebrating trailblazing women going forward.
Meghan wrote: “we are encouraging everybody to participate in real acts of compassion for the women in their lives and their community.
“One suggestion we have is to take a moment to learn about the trailblazing women who came before us.
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Since stepping down alongside Prince Harry in March 2020, Meghan has reiterated her commitment to helping women reach their full potential.
As part of her 40th birthday celebrations, the Duchess launched the 40×40 initiative in which she asked 40 of her friends to dedicate 40 minutes of their time to women seeking to re-enter the workplace.
And she has been vocally supportive of the paid-leave equality campaign, lobbying US Senators to make family leave compulsory.
The Duchess of Sussex dismissed the suggestion she had been using her titles for political reasons, describing the campaign as dealing with “humanitarian” issues.