Meghan Markle and Prince Harry celebrated International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11 with an exemplary young leader, Malala Yousafzai. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a virtual chat with Malala to emphasize the need for equal education worldwide and bring attention to the lack of opportunities for girls specifically.
As the group discussed, there are “barriers preventing 130 million girls from going to school,” with the potential to inhibit even more as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “When young girls have access to education, everyone wins and everyone succeeds. It just opens the door for societal success at the highest level,” Meghan said, explaining why it’s essential for people to pay attention to this issue.
Malala, a recent university graduate herself, elaborated on the dangers that can befall girls who don’t engage in active schooling. “An additional 20 million more girls are at risk of dropping out of school because of this pandemic,” she told Harry and Meghan. “They’re at risk of never being able to return to their schools because they are likely to be pushed into early child marriages or they might become the breadwinners or financial supporters of their families.”
Meghan responded: “It’s not just robbing a society of the cultural richness that comes with educating young girls. It’s also robbing these young girls of childhood.” Harry agreed and noted that education for girls also goes hand in hand with combating climate change. “The importance of girls’ education to help defer climate change is absolutely critical,” he said. “An education provides money, provides an income, which makes you less susceptible to disaster.” Watch the inspiring and important conversation in full above.