Duchess Meghan has a long history of advocating for the rights of women and girls all over the world, and a new clip of her doing just that in India has just been released for World Vision.
The video, shot in 2017, shows the Duchess of Sussex working in Delhi and Mumbai on behalf of the organization, speaking about how adequate bathrooms for girls make them more likely to succeed at school. “What we found is that the enrollment at this school went at three times as much once the latrines were built so that girls had access to clean hygiene and bathroom facililties while they’re at school,” she says in the clip.
The video was shared on the UK’s ITV, and goes on to show Meghan painting with girls at a school, and also planting and watering flowers. It finishes with her saying, “Girl power.”
Video of Meghan Markle (as she was then) from 2017. Not been released before. Filmed by @WorldVisionUK as Meghan campaigns for gender equality.
In India, 113 million teenage girls are at risk of dropping out of school cos of no basic santiary facilities.pic.twitter.com/F9RzuhcmlV
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) April 17, 2019
Meghan was clearly deeply affected by her trip to India, and wrote an editorial piece about it, which ran in TIME magazine in 2017. “To break the cycle of poverty, and to achieve economic growth and sustainability in developing countries, young women need access to education,” she wrote. She also noted that 113 million girls in India between ages 12 to 14 “are at risk of dropping out of school because of the stigma surrounding menstrual health.”
“When we empower girls hungry for education, we cultivate women who are emboldened to effect change within our communities and globally,” she continued. “If that is our dream for them, then the promise of it must begin with us. Period.”
This wasn’t the first time Meghan travelled with World Vision to highlight the education of women and girls. She visited Rwanda as a Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada in 2016, and also helped children paint watercolours then. She also spent time with children at a school that had been given clean water through a pipeline set up by World Vision, and highlighted access to clean drinking water as crucial to improving girls’ education.
“I think there’s a misconception that access to clean water is just about drinking water; which, of course, it is,” Meghan said of her visit in 2017. “But it’s so much more than that. Access to clean water in a community keeps young girls in school, because they aren’t walking hours each day to source water for their families.”
On International Women’s Day this year, Meghan hosted a panel on which she highlighted girls’ education, and she also did the same in a speech while touring Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga with Prince Harry in October.