Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Speak With Malala Yousafzai About the Challenges Girls Face Accessing Education

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Harry and Meghan’s conversation with Malala “looked at COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on young women’s access to education.”

Since stepping back as senior royals, Prince Harry and Meghan have taken part in several high profile appearances and discussions. And now they have filmed a chat with global icon Malala Yousafzai which will be aired on Sunday in honor of International Day of the Girl.

T&C understands that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke with Malala about the challenges that women and girls face around the world accessing education, especially in light of the pandemic. “Their conversation looked at COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on young women’s access to education and how everyone can all contribute to a more equal future for girls, as well as the value of education in their own lives,” a source said.

The chat will be streamed on the Malala Fund’s website and YouTube Channel on October 11 at 11 a.m. ET as part of the fund’s ongoing work “for a world where every girl can learn and lead.” Now 23 years old, Malala became a worldwide hero at the age of 15 in 2012 after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Pakistan, who shot her in the head for campaigning for girls to have the right to go to school. She co-founded the Malala Fund in 2013 and continues to champion the right for girls to have an education.

Figures show that there are around 130 million girls around the world who are out of school. In April, the Malala Fund released a report on girls’ education and COVID-19 which estimated that an additional 20 million more secondary-school age children could be out of school by the time the pandemic ends. “In a crisis like COVID-19, girls and young women are the first to be removed from school and the last to return,” said Malala Yousafzai in an article about the report on the Malala Fund’s website. “But educated young women are also critical to public health and economic recovery. Malala Fund is calling on governments to start planning now to ensure all girls are able to return to school when the crisis has passed.”

Harry and Meghan have shown that women and girls’ rights and education will continue to be a key focus for their philanthropic efforts. Last month they donated $130,000 to CAMFED, a non-profit working to educate and empower women and girls across Africa, matching donations made as part of a campaign to mark their birthdays. And both have a long-standing record of speaking up on the subject. In 2016, during an official visit to Nepal, Prince Harry said: “There are way too many obstacles between girls and the opportunities they deserve.” He continued: “How can this cycle be broken? We all know what the answer is—education.”

During a visit to Fiji in 2018, Meghan addressed students at the University of the South Pacific, saying: “When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.”

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