Meghan Markle is speaking up for women amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
"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," Meghan, 39, began in her speech, which aired on Saturday, May 8, and was part of the Global Citizen's VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World.
"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," she continued.
"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," Meghan declared. "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."
Meghan — who wore a bright red floral top — was supposed to appear at the event, but since she is currently pregnant with baby No. 2, she didn't attend. However, her husband, Prince Harry, took the stage and spoke about how we all need to do our part so that life can get back to normal sooner than later.
"Hi everybody. We are at a defining moment in the global fight against COVID-19. Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world," he began. "You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm's way and with bravery knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible depth of gratitude, thank you."
He continued, "But we're also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity. The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that's what tonight is about. The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point."