Meghan Markle Advocates For Paid Leave For All In Powerful Letter To Congress

·4 min read

Meghan Markle has written a powerful letter advocating on behalf of paid leave for all in a letter addressed to Congress on Wednesday.

“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician,” she wrote in the letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent,” the royal added. “And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that’s why I’m writing to you at this deeply important time — as a mom — to advocate for paid leave.”

“Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities,” Meghan wrote. “At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.”

The Duchess of Sussex has two children, Archie and Lilibet, with her husband, Prince Harry. Following Lili’s birth earlier this summer, both Meghan and Harry took 20 weeks of parental leave.

In the letter, Meghan spoke about welcoming and bringing home their second child, and openly acknowledged the sacrifices she and Harry did not have to make because of their positions of privilege.

The Duchess of Sussex in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2019. (Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images)
The Duchess of Sussex in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2019. (Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images)

“Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed,” Meghan said. “Like fewer parents, we weren’t confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work.”

“No family should be faced with these decisions,” the duchess said, adding, “No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan).”

The royal acknowledged “how politically charged things can — and have — become,” but said that the issue “isn’t about Right or Left, it’s about right or wrong.”

“So, on behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry, I thank you for considering this letter,” Meghan said, before signing off with: “And on behalf of all families, I ask you to ensure this consequential moment is not lost.”

After the letter was released, actor Debra Messing, “I Am a Voter” creator and co-founder Mandana Dayani, and many other organizations tweeted their support of Meghan and her push for paid leave:

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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