The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, is a working mother of two and always has a new initiative or project in the pipeline. This time, she's announced she is adding to her advocacy work in support of working mothers like herself to reform labour laws in the United States.
On May 11, the Duchess announced in a press release that she is joining forces with the Marshall Plan for Moms by joining their National Business Coalition for Child Care initiative.
In partnering with Archewell, the company founded by her and her husband, Prince Harry, the cause advocates for better childcare support and paid sick leave for working parents. Archewell itself will implement these updates for their own workforce too.
"Families everywhere, and especially working moms, are asked to shoulder so much,” she said in her statement.
“This has only been heightened by the pandemic, with increased caregiving responsibilities, rising prices, and economic uncertainty,” she continued.
“As it's been said many times, it takes a village to raise a child. Today, we're sending a message that childcare isn't just a community imperative—it's a business imperative. Creating a stronger workforce starts with meeting the needs of families."
Archewell’s partnership with Marshall Plan for Moms has been in the works for a few months, ever since it was announced back in December that the organization would be one of the many receiving donations from the Duke and Duchess’s company.
The announcement was made via their annual Holiday card that featured the royal’s two young children, Archie and Lilibet.
Accompanying the photo was a call for paid paternal leave and of recognizing the hardships of young refugee and immigrant families. The text of the card read (per People), “This year, 2021, we welcomed our daughter, Lilibet, to the world. Archie made us a 'Mama' and a 'Papa', and Lili made us a family. As we look forward to 2022, we have made donations on your behalf to several organizations that honor and protect families – from those being relocated from Afghanistan, to American families in need of paid parental leave.”
Later on the card, they noted their donation to Marshall Plan for Moms by saying they are “making contributions to organizations supporting families through paid leave, something The Duchess of Sussex has previously noted is a humanitarian issue that she believes must be urgently addressed in the United States.”
The topic of paid sick leave and childcare is something that has been on the Duchess’s mind for quite some time. Back in November, she wrote an open letter to American Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about the urgent need in the US for paid sick leave and childcare during and after the pandemic.
“Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities," she wrote. "At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.”
She went on in the letter to speak about the financial constraints her family experienced when she was a child. She admits that when started her own family with Prince Harry, she didn’t have to worry about the financial burden of childcare due to their circumstances, but she notes that that isn’t the reality for most American families.
“…We wouldn’t have to make impossible choices about childcare, work, and medical care that so many have to make every single day,” she said.
“No family should be faced with these decisions. No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan).”
This announcement of their partnership with Marshall Plan for Moms comes just a few days after their eldest son, Archie, celebrated his third birthday.
They also announced last week that they will return to the UK to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee, which will mark the first time the Sussex's have returned to the country as a family since stepping back as senior royals in 2020. It will also mark their daughter Lilibet’s first time in the country to meet her great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.