Meghan Markle, 40, is working hard to stand up for paid family leave. The Duchess of Sussex made an appearance at The New York Times DealBook Online Summit, which was celebrating the 20th anniversary of DealBook, on Nov. 9 to engage in a conversation with Mellody Hobson, Co-C.E.O. and President of Ariel Investments, and more about women reaching economic and professional equality. During the discussion, she was asked about recently reaching out to senators about paid family leave through a letter and called the issue “a humanitarian” one.
How can women reach economic and professional parity? Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and @MellodyHobson share top-down solutions with @andrewrsorkin at the #DealBook Online Summit. https://t.co/VfoMWaLsYg
— DealBook (@dealbook) November 9, 2021
“I think this is one of those issues that is not red or blue. We can all agree that people need support certainly when they’ve just had a child,” Meghan told host Andrew Ross Sorkin, Editor at Large, Columnist and Founder of DealBook The New York Times during the summit.
She added, “Paid leave, from my standpoint, is just a humanitarian issue.”
Meghan also talked about how her own experience as a mother to her son Archie, 2, and five-month-old daughter Lili, who she shares with her husband Prince Harry, 37, has affected her feelings on paid family leave. “To come back [to the U.S.] and now be a mother of two and to see that the U.S. is one of only six countries in the entire world that doesn’t offer any form of national paid leave just didn’t make sense,” she said.
Meghan’s comments at the summit come after she made headlines for writing an open letter to the U.S. Congress about the importance of paid family leave and request that they offer it to every working individual that welcomes a child. She also opened up about how she and Harry felt “overwhelmed” after adding a second child to their brood in June. “In June, my husband and I welcomed our second child,” she wrote in the letter, which was published on Oct. 20. “Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed.”
“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),” she continued in the letter. “In taking care of your child, you take care of your community, and you take care of your country — because when paid leave is a right, we’re creating a foundation that helps address mental health outcomes, health care costs and economic strength at the starting line.”