Meghan Markle has made a powerful statement in favour of paid parental leave.
In an open letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Duchess of Sussex advocated on behalf of paid leave for all.
“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician,” she began. “I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent. 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,” Markle continued. “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 families you represent need your strong leadership. With paid leave on the cusp of becoming a national reality, I trust you will meet this moment. I know you must hear from your constituents about the choices they are facing every day to make ends meet and care for their families.”
She even looked back at growing up on “the $4.99 salad bar at Sizzler.”
“I knew how hard my parents worked to afford this because even at five bucks, eating out was something special, and I felt lucky,” she said.
Adding, “I started working (at the local frozen yogurt shop) at the age of 13. I waited tables, babysat, and piecemealed jobs together to cover odds and ends. I worked all my life and saved when and where I could—but even that was a luxury—because usually it was about making ends meet and having enough to pay my rent and put gas in my car.”
Markle and her husband Prince Harry share two children, Archie, 2, and Lilibet, 4 months.
After welcoming little Lilibet earlier this summer, both Meghan and Harry took 20 weeks of parental leave, sharing the news on the Archewell Foundation website at the time.
Read Markle’s full letter at paidleaveforall.org.