Their parting words as they confirmed the end of their royal roles last month were that “service is universal”. Now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have taken that message one step further with a call to action for people around the world.
Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, the couple’s Archewell Foundation has shared a list of more than 20 “real acts of compassion” that will benefit women in communities everywhere. From supporting safe spaces for women and helping women looking for employment to expressing support for military spouses and ordering from female-led restaurant businesses, Harry and Meghan are hoping that the suggestions will see a “groundswell” of compassionate deeds.
And the couple will be practising what they preach, having pledged to participate in and take a number of the suggested actions themselves (which they will be sharing throughout the month). “[They] are hopeful to see families and communities everywhere join together to unleash compassion, one action at a time,” a Sussex spokesperson tells Bazaar.
The campaign—which is also in support of Women’s History Month—came as a result of “in-depth planning” with leaders and organisations that focus on women and women’s advocacy. These include charities Archewell is already partnered with, including World Central Kitchen and The Loveland Foundation. There are also nods to the Commonwealth with organisations including UK-based women’s employment charity Smart Works and the pan-African women’s education charity CAMFED, as well as groups the couple have volunteered with in the past, such as The Mission Continues and Indian menstrual hygiene awareness charity Myna Manila, which Meghan visited in 2017.
“Around the world, and increasingly during the Covid-19 pandemic, women have had to take on more and more—as wage earners, leaders, educators, carers, and so on,” the Sussex spokesperson continues. “Our hope is to inspire everyone to take action and commit to participating in just one act.”
A website for the unique initiative launched 1 March alongside a comprehensive list of suggestions and a bonus PDF version of the list, which Harry and Meghan hope people will share with friends to “inspire acts of compassion every day, all month long”.
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