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Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and husband Prince Harry wave from a carriage following their May 19 wedding at St. George's Chapel, in Windsor, UK.
Phil Noble/Pool photo via AP
Girls & Women

11-Year-Old Meghan Markle Has a Feminist Message You Need to Hear

When Meghan Markle shut down her lifestyle website shortly before announcing her engagement to Prince Harry, it sparked concerns among fans that her new enrolment into the British monarchy would curb her calling out sexism wherever she saw it.

But it looks like Markle — now the Duchess of Sussex — has no intention of letting herself be silenced. Her official profile on the royal family's website went live this week, and it made perfectly clear her continued commitment to gender equality. 

Take action: Sign This Petition to #LevelTheLaw and Empower Girls and Women Around the World

And, judging by this interview from 1993, 11-year-old Markle would be so proud. 

The footage shows her on Nickelodeon’s children’s news programme "Nick News," speaking about her first foray into activism. 

It all came about after she saw an advert for dish shop, with the slogan: “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” 

When she saw the advert at school, and two boys in her class joked that women "belong" in the kitchen, she reportedly went home and told her parents. Her father then suggested she write a letter "to the most powerful people" about it.

Read more: Meghan Markle Set to Break This Sexist Tradition at Wedding to Prince Harry

Her letter went to Procter & Gamble, the company behind the advert, as well as to First Lady Hillary Clinton, women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, and "Nick News" anchor Linda Ellerbee. 

And it worked — she got "women" changed to "people."

"I don’t think it is right for kids to grow up thinking that Mom does everything,” Markle says in the video, which was found by Inside Edition and rerun by TV programme NickSplat in honour of the wedding this weekend. “It’s always 'Mom does this,' and 'Mom does that.'” 

“I said, 'Wait a minute, how could somebody say that?'” she continues. “Just about one out of every three commercials is going to say something that’s going to hurt somebody’s feelings.” 

Read more: Meghan Markle Spoke About #MeToo and Everyone Needs to Hear Her Message

She added: "If you see something that you don’t like or offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, for not just yourself but for lots of other people."

Preach. 

Markle told the story of her first experience of driving positive change when she spoke at the United Nations in 2015, as a UN ambassador for women’s rights.

"It just wasn't right and something needed to be done," she said in the speech. "At the age of 11, I created my small level of impact by standing up for equality." 

Read more: 5 Issues We Want Meghan Markle to Tackle as a Royal

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, which include action on gender equality. We believe that the more women with public platforms who can speak out about feminism and raise awareness around gender discrimination, the better. 

Procter & Gamble is a partner of Global Citizen, working to achieve a world free from gender bias. You can find out more about the work P&G is doing to advance gender equality around the world here.