39-year old Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has appeared on TV for the first time since her interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, declaring that women have been ‘disproportionally affected’ by pandemic.
Markle’s video was a pre-recorded message which played Saturday night during the Global Citizen VAX Live concert – a show featuring performances by the Foo Fighters, Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder and H.E.R.
“The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle COVID-19,” Markle said. “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 prioritises the health, safety and success of everyone – and particularly women, who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.”
The Global Citizen VAX Live concert was held to raise funds for international vaccination efforts.
“Women, and especially women of colour, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out,” she continued. “Since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women have lost work in the US, and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty.”
“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.”
Last week, Markle and her husband, Harry addressed an open letter to the chief executives of pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, encouraging them to enhance their support for the UN-sponsored Covax programme.
Markle and her husband have called on the companies to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights applied to COVID vaccines, and for a “global public-private collaboration” so production methods for the vaccines can be shared.
The couple’s intercession into the debate on the global vaccine rollout came on their son Archie’s second birthday.