Every Important Way Meghan Markle Gives Back (and the 1 Taboo Topic She’s Not Afraid to Talk About)

Long before Meghan Markle met Prince Harry, she was making waves in the world of philanthropy. In fact, she’s been speaking out against inequality and standing up for causes she believes in since she was just a kid (page 7). And not only is Markle committed to using her celebrity as a platform for good, but she’s made humanitarianism her mission.

Read on to discover all the ways — including one taboo topic she’s not afraid to talk about (page 5) and the charity that goes with it — this do-gooder gives back.

She asked her wedding guests to make donations instead of give gifts

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce the engagement

Meghan Markle is giving back, even on her wedding day. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

  • She and Prince Harry added charities they support to their wedding registry.

For anyone else, inheriting the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, would be enough. But not for Markle. Not surprisingly, she found a way to give back even on her own wedding day (because obviously, these royals aren’t struggling to buy a new set of pots and pans for the kitchen). So Prince Harry and Markle put charities on their registry instead of gifts.

While Markle isn’t the first royal bride to ask for donations in lieu of gifts, she’s clearly put her own mark on it. Markle — along with Prince Harry — chose specific charities that resonate with her. One such charity is StreetGames, a sports organization dedicated to helping youth in disadvantaged areas. One of StreetGames’ missions, in particular, is girl empowerment, a cause Markle has been supporting for years.

Next: She’s long spoken out about important issues.

She was a UN Women’s advocate

Meghan Markle

She served as a global ambassador for World Vision. | Ben Birchall/AFP/Getty Images

  • She promoted her causes on a global level.

Although Markle is now focused on official royal duties, she dedicated much of her time to helping others through specific organizations. Most notably, Markle served as a UN Women’s advocate and a global ambassador for World Vision.

During her time in these roles, Markle helped make major strides on organizational and global levels, which brings us to our next point.

Next: She really walks the walk.

She traveled to Rwanda to support World Vision’s Clean Water Campaign

Meghan Markle arrives to a walkabout at Cardiff Castle

She visited Rwanda for World Vision. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

  • She knows how clean water can have a major impact on communities — and on girls in particular.

Markle is passionate about social issues, especially those that impact young people living in poverty-stricken regions around the world. So when she had the chance to visit Rwanda as a global ambassador for World Vision, she took it.

During her time working on water issues, Markle emphasized how clean water has a major impact on the entire community — and on girls in particular. According to the World Vision website, Markle said,

I think there’s a misconception that access to clean water is just about clean drinking water; which, of course, it is. 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.

Next: Go Markle! 

She called out a big-time director for the sexualization of her character on Suits

Actress Meghan Markle attends the premiere of USA Network's "Suits" Season 5 at the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel.

She spoke out against the sexualization of her character. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

  • She didn’t feel the sexualization added anything to the script.

She may have Suits to thank for her rise to fame, but Markle is far more concerned with women’s rights than she is with her celebrity. Never one to shy away from speaking out, Markle took Suits creator to task, calling him out for the sexualization of her character on the show. But what, exactly, did she say?

In 2016, Markle spoke at the One Young World Summit in Canada. During her talk, Markle admitted she was fed up with the amount of semi-naked scenes she had to do. As Markle explained, it added nothing to the show’s script.

Next: Markle also took this trip while she was serving as a global ambassador for World Vision. 

She visited a women’s foundation in India to learn about the culture’s period stigma

India foundation employees

The Myna Mahila Foundation in India, which champions menstrual hygiene, is one of the organizations to benefit from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. | Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

  • She supports a charity that manufactures pads for girls and women in need.

Yes, period stigma is a thing. And it’s something Markle has helped bring to the forefront of conversation. Although some consider it a taboo topic, it’s one millions of girls face every day. Following her 2017 visit to Delhi and Mumbai, Markle addressed the issue of period stigma in relation to girls’ lack of education in a piece she wrote for Time.

“From sub-Saharan Africa to India, Iran, and several other countries, the stigma surrounding menstruation and lack of access to proper sanitation directly inhibit young women from pursuing an education,” she wrote. Because these girls don’t have access to pads, they’re more likely to drop out of school at a young age.

Furthermore, Markle spent time shadowing women in Mumbai’s slum communities. The women she shadowed worked for an organization that manufactures pads and sells them within the community. The name of that organization is Myna Mahila Foundation, and it’s one of the seven charities on Markle’s registry.

 

Next: It’s time to listen up. 

She supports the Me Too and Time’s Up movements

Meghan Markle attends the first annual Royal Foundation Forum held at Aviva on February 28, 2018 in London, England.

She’s passionate about gender equality. | Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images

  • She voiced her support for the gender equality and women’s rights movements during a royal event.

Of all the causes Markle is passionate about, she’s best known as an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. So it’s no surprise she supports the Me Too and Time’s Up movements. During The Royal Foundation Forum, Markle said,

Right now, in the climate that we’re seeing with so many campaigns — Me Too and Time’s Up — there is no better time to really shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them — men included in that. It makes such a tremendous difference.

Next: This is where it all began.

She protested for gender equality and actually made a difference

Meghan Markle

Even as a child, she spoke out against sexism. | Adrian Dennis-WPA Pool/Getty Images

  • She once wrote to Hillary Clinton about sexist language.

Markle first got her start as a women’s rights advocate when she was just 11 years old, proving you don’t need to have a high-profile platform to make a difference. And the story, not surprisingly, is a powerful one.

Much to Markle’s dismay, a popular dish soap company ran a commercial that said, “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” And even at 11 years old, that kind of sexist language offended Markle. And then, two of her male classmates said the kitchen was where women belonged, a comment that only further fueled Markle.

So Markle wrote letters to a handful of women in power, including then-first lady Hillary Clinton. Months later, Procter & Gamble, the company behind the ad, changed the commercial to say, “People all over America.” And thus, a change-maker was born.

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