From the minute Royal wedding fever took hold, we were feeling the feminist influence of Meghan Markle.
The authentic romance, progressive ceremony, a beautifully understated dress and the rock-solid poise of a woman walking herself down the aisle, certainly spoke volumes, and now with the world’s eyes firmly on the newest member of the monarchy, Meghan has been making her next moves wisely.
And if her from-the-heart choices so far are anything to go by, the new Duchess will not disappoint.
Among the carefully selected charities that Harry and Meghan chose to receive contributions in place of wedding gifts, is one in India that’s working to tackle period poverty and break taboos around menstrual hygiene.
The Myna Mahila Foundation employs women in Mumbai’s urban slums to make affordable sanitary pads and then sell them back into their communities. It was the only non-British charity on the Duke and Duchess’s list, likely to have been picked by Meghan to highlight the issue of period poverty following her emotive visit to India last year.
Writing in Time Magazine after working with the charity, Meghan addressed period stigma with a strong call to action: “We need to push the conversation, mobilise policy making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organisations who foster girls’ education from the ground up, and within our own homes, we need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation.”
Period poverty is the harsh reality for young girls and women in the developing world. With a lack of access to basic sanitary products and limited conversation around periods that leads to menstrual shame and embarrassment, many young girls miss school, and women are unable to work and forced to stay at home.
Thanks to Meghan’s support of the charity, she’s shone a spotlight on the challenges faced by women because of menstruation and urged a focus on educating young women and men, improving access globally to sanitary products and adjusting this major cause of gender inequality in the developing world.
And we’re in no doubt there’s much more feminism to come from the Duchess. Let’s call it the Meghan Markle effect.