Meghan Markle Discusses How the Pandemic Has Disproportionately Impacted Women of Color at Vax Live
The Duchess of Sussex also talked about her unborn daughter in a video recorded for the event.
Meghan Markle wasn’t able to attend Global Citizen’s Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World in person, but she still made sure her voice was heard at the event.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex co-chaired the event, which was organized to raise awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage people to get vaccinated. While Prince Harry attended the event in-person, Meghan, who is currently very pregnant with the couple’s second child, was not able to join him. Her presence was still very much felt at Vax Live, however, as she recorded a video message for the occasion.
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Meghan wore a gorgeous red shirt dress with a pink poppy flower pattern in the video, which was filmed outdoors in a lovely garden. The duchess wore her hair down in loose curls, pull simply to one side and could be seen protectively cradling her stomach in some moments during the clip.
In her speech, the Meghan discussed the intersection of gender and the pandemic, specifically, how women—and especially women of color—will be disproportionately affected by the pandemic and its related shutdowns, saying:
“The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle COVID-19. And 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, and particularly women who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic. With the surge in gender based violence, the increased responsibility of unpaid care work, and new obstacles that have reversed so much progress for women in the workplace, we’re at an inflection point for gender equity. Women, and especially women of color, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out. Since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women have lost work in the U.S., and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty. But if we work together to bring vaccines to every country and continent, insist that vaccines are equitably distributed and fairly priced, and ensure that governments around the world are donating their additional vaccines to countries in need, then we can begin to fully rebuild. Not only to restore us to where we were before, but to go further and rapidly advance the conditions, opportunities, and mobilities for women everywhere.
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 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 set all of us up, for a successful, equitable, compassionate tomorrow. Now tonight we’ve had a reminder of things we miss the most, be it live music or sporting events, or just physical contact with family and friends where we can sit together, laugh together, and hug one another. Whatever it is, it all circles back to the same thing: Connecting as a community. For most of us that means our local community. Our loved ones, our neighborhood. But let’s also think about our global community. 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. Thank you.”