Prince Harry and Meghan last night attended a women’s empowerment reception, as part of this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Hosted by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, along with his wife Marina Wheeler, the occasion marked the launch of a new campaign entitled “Platform for Girl’s Education”. This movement was created to inspire all countries of the Commonwealth into committing to providing every girl, especially the absolute poorest, 12 years of a quality education. Working together to enable the success of this program, are the Department for International Development, the Department of Education and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; advancing forward the political momentum on education for all girls is the main purpose of these groups.
Prince Harry and his future wife met with representatives from various organisations and charities that advocate global gender equality. Taking part in Thursday’s soiree were foundations and charities including, the Malala Fund, the Varkey Foundation, Plan International, as well as the Code Camp Charities.
The reception comes the day after they met with a youth forum as part of the week’s proceedings.
While meeting with delegates from the Malala Fund, the happy couple was introduced to Ziauddin Yousafzai, co-founder of the fund and father to Malala Yousafzai. Malala is a young girl who was viciously attacked by militants in North West Pakistan: she was savagely shot in the head because she defied their orders and dared to go to school.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment have become passionate issues for Meghan. In years past, Harry’s fiancée has served as a Women’s Advocate for the United Nations. While fulfilling her duties in this position, Meghan became recognised for her fierce commitment in highlighting these causes.
Participating in five events within six days this week is quite a significant undertaking for this soon-to-be royal wife. It is highly uncommon for a person who has not yet married into the Royal Family to be included in such high profile occasions, such as the Commonwealth Heads of State events.
That’s not to say that Harry’s future wife comes without compelling experience: in addition to her work with the United Nations, Meghan has worked tirelessly with World Vision, the Myna Mahila Foundation, and One Young World Organisations. Consequently, the Myna Mahila Foundation of India is one of the charities that has been chosen for well wishers to donate to, in lieu of purchasing wedding gifts for the couple’s May wedding.
As she conversed with an 18-year-old girl from Kenya named Hope, Meghan chatted with her about the long-lasting impact that providing education for girls will have on the world. Hope shared: “Meghan Markle was talking about how it is a rippling effect when you empower girls, they empower the next generation.”
Prince Harry praised the movement, stating: “What you’re doing is absolutely amazing. It starts from here. You have already done amazing stuff. Now you have to energise.”
Around the world, there are presently over 130 million girls that are not attending school. In conflict zones, girls are twice as likely to not show up at school in comparison to the number of boys that do not show in the same region. In order to assist in helping these very deserving girls, Britain will donate £212 million in UK aid money to the effort, so that 1 million vulnerable girls will be able to obtain 12 years of quality education by 2030.
Following the reception, Prince Harry then headed to Buckingham Palace for a black tie dinner, hosted by The Queen; here, the President of Ghana spoke of the Commonwealth’s ‘collective regret’ that The Queen was lessening her workload as she turns 92 this weekend.