Meghan Markle has sent a passionate and moving open letter to the US Congress, calling for paid parental leave for all parents across the country.
The Duchess of Sussex addressed her letter to Senate Majority Leader, Charles Schumer, and House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, writing about why nationally mandated paid leave is essential for all American parents.
In the letter, she said: "Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities.
"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 mum or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.
"For many, this sacrifice goes back further than the past 20 months; it's 20 or 30 years, even longer, decades of giving time, body, and endless energy not just in the pursuit of the American dream, but simply the dream of stability."
Meghan also reflected on her own upbringing, describing how she witnessed her family’s struggles with balancing parenthood and finances, mentioning how she had a job from a young age.
She added: "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)."
The Duchess concluded her letter by advocating for a national paid-leave mandate for all American parents, arguing that doing so not only takes care of communities but the whole country.
She said: "In taking care of your child, you take care of your community, and you take care of your country – because when paid leave is a right, we’re creating a foundation that helps address mental health outcomes, health care costs, and economic strength at the starting line.
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"Paid leave should be a national right, rather than a patchwork option limited to those whose employers have policies in place, or those who live in one of the few states where a leave program exists.
"This is about putting families above politics."