Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have put out a call to action ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.
The website for the couple’s charitable foundation, Archewell, now features information on all the ways people can get involved to support small feminist organizations, women-owned businesses, and women in their communities this month, which also marks Women’s History Month.
“Women deserve recognition — and also support,” the website says. “We know the world is asking more and more of women every day — as wage earners, leaders, educators, carers, and more.”
“In recognition of International Women’s Day, let’s unleash a groundswell of real acts of compassion for the women in your life and in your community,” it continues.
Split into sections on family care, wellness, food, and empowerment, there are 21 different actions people can take to help uplift women this month by donating time, things, or money, and generally offering support.
They include calling your local maternity ward and asking what donations are needed, or donating to an organization like the Loveland Foundation to help cover the cost of therapy services for Black women and girls seeking support. It could mean donating to women’s shelters or the YWCA’s COVID-19 relief fund, which is providing critical services to women and children during the pandemic.
Other actions could involve volunteering with a mentoring organization like LA Works, to support a teenage girl currently navigating high school during a pandemic.
Or it could mean ordering food from a women-led restaurant, or simply calling friends and family and checking up on them.
“From work to family care, many of us are juggling a lot at the moment. Asking something as simple as ‘are you ok’ can go a long way,” the website says. Another simple thing people can do to support their community is to help a parent or neighbor to book and receive their COVID-19 vaccine, the couple suggest.
Most of the actions in the list direct people to organizations working in the US, but there are some international organizations that they signpost too. For example, they highlight the Myna Mahila Foundation, which fights period poverty and provides health advice to women and girls in India, and whose founder Suhani Jalota was a Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award finalist in 2020.
Another organization Meghan and Harry have highlighted is CAMFED, an international nonprofit which campaigns and advocates for girls' education around the world.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be participating in and taking a number of these actions themselves throughout March, according to People Magazine, and are hopeful others will join in.
Last year, the pair visited Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham, London, on International Women’s Day, where Meghan gave a speech about the women’s rights campaigns she has worked on.
“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 the future,” she said. “And that is all of the young women here, as well as the young men who play a very large part in this.”
This March is certainly not the first time Meghan and Harry have taken action on issues affecting women and girls.
In February they made a surprise donation to a Texas women’s shelter that was damaged in a storm, for example. And in celebration of Harry’s birthday last September, they made a £130,000 donation to CAMFED to support girls' education in countries across Africa.