Meghan Markle gives speech directed at women ‘disproportionately affected’ by pandemic

"Women, and especially women of color, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out," Markle said

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Meghan Markle gave a virtual speech to bring attention to the lack of equal access to the COVID vaccine, particularly amongst women of color who are “disproportionately affected” by the coronavirus pandemic.

On Saturday, the Duchess of Sussex, who is expecting her second child, a daughter, this summer with husband Prince Harry, spoke at the Global Citizen’s VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World.

“We’ve gathered tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter but it’s going to take every one of us to find our way forward. As campaign chairs of Vax Live, my husband and I believe it’s critical that our recovery prioritizes the health, safety, and success of everyone, particularly women who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic,” said Markle.

Markle added, “Women, and especially women of color, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out. Since the pandemic began, nearly five-and-a-half million women have lost work in the U.S. And 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty.”

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Markle, 39, and Harry, 36, served as campaign chairs of the ceremony. The event had a goal of increasing donations and sharing vaccine doses to populations around the world.

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

“Their future leadership depends on the decisions we make and the actions we take now to set them up, and set all of us up, for a successful, equitable, compassionate tomorrow. We want to make sure that as we recover, we recover stronger. That as we rebuild, we rebuild together. Thank you.”

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The couple marked their son Archie’s 2nd birthday on Thursday by requesting donations through their Archewell Foundation website. The donations will go towards initiatives that will help vaccine equity and hopefully bring an end to the pandemic.

“We cannot think of a more resonant way to honor our son’s birthday. If we all show up, with compassion for those we both know and don’t know, we can have a profound impact. Even a small contribution can have a ripple effect,” Markle and Prince Harry wrote.

The Duke of Sussex says the only way to “heal and recover” is together, which inspired his and Markle’s decision to serve as chairmen.

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“What we really need to be aware of and what we cannot allow to happen is science being politicized. So many things have been politicized over the years but when we’re talking about life or death, which is what we’re talking about now, vaccines cannot be politicized,” said Prince Harry. “Being able to come together as humans, people is how we’re going o get ourselves out of this. And we must ensure that everyone around the world has equal access to the vaccine otherwise none of this works.”

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