Meghan Markle was one of the many inspiring women who participated in this year's Girl Up Leadership Summit. The Girl Up campaign is "dedicated to securing equal opportunities for underprivileged adolescent girls in developing countries," and the three-day event spotlighted global leaders, change-makers, and allies who are committed to engaging teenage girls in conversations on gender equality. On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex delivered a virtual speech in which she dropped some words of wisdom regarding the importance of speaking up and encouraged young women to make a difference in the world.
"It's such a joy to speak to you today," Meghan began. "To young women around the world who aren't just poised to change the world, but have already begun changing the world. . . . I want to share something with you. It's that those in the halls and corridors and places of power — from lawmakers to world leaders to executives — all of those people, they depend on you more than you will ever depend on them. And here's the thing: they know this."
"We have to speak up for ourselves and we have to speak out for others who struggle to be heard."
Meghan then shed light on all the important work Girl Up members are doing, from organizing protests to standing up and demanding to be heard. "I know that you've already done so much and made so many people's lives better," Meghan said. "The moment we're living through right now asks all of us to do more. It's a moment where your voices and your action have never been more urgently needed. . . . Believing in true equality is not enough — it's going to take more than belief. We have to work for it every day, even when it's hard, even when it makes others feel uneasy. We have to speak up for ourselves and we have to speak out for others who struggle to be heard."
The duchess concluded her speech by encouraging young women to be patient in seeing change come about and to continue pushing. "The growth and the change that you're pursuing might not feel like anything day-to-day, but when you look back, I promise you will see it all adds up. . . . I am extraordinarily proud of what you've already accomplished," she said. "Please continue to honor the conviction and the compassion that's awoken within you. I will be cheering you on, so will my husband, so will Archie, as you all continue marching, advocating, and leading the way forward."