'Vax Live': Meghan Markle highlights women affected by the pandemic in virtual speech

The Duchess of Sussex spoke about the long-term implications that Covid-19 will have for women, including her unborn daughter

Meghan Markle gave a virtual speech during the Global Citizen Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World event. 
Meghan Markle gave a virtual speech during the Global Citizen Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World event. 

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, appeared virtually during Global Citizen Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World on Saturday.

Giving a speech that addressed women’s issues, it was Meghan's first TV appearance since her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

Meghan, who couldn't attend the event in person because she is pregnant, addressed the health, safety and success of everyone, but placed special emphasis on women who had been "disproportionately affected" by the pandemic.

She said that since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women had lost work in the US and 47 million more around the world were "expected to slip into extreme poverty".

The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle Covid-19. We've gathered tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex

The Duchess of Sussex also spoke about how women, especially those of colour, have suffered and seen a "generation of economic gain wiped out".

"The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle Covid-19," she said. "We've gathered tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter."

In the short video, she also addressed her soon-to-be-born child. "My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter. It's a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward."

Meghan and Prince Harry acted as campaign chairwoman and chairman of the event, which aimed to support vaccination efforts around the world against the spread of coronavirus. It’s been reported the star-studded fundraising event pulled in $302 million, exceeding the goal for the organisation’s campaign.

They also said the funds will help to procure more than 26 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, with money garnered through several philanthropic and corporate commitments.

US President Joe Biden, Prince Harry and Jennifer Lopez were among the big names who took part in the event, which was staged at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on May 2.

Selena Gomez hosted the show, which was attended by several thousand fully vaccinated concertgoers who cheered on performances by Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, H.E.R and Lopez, who enjoyed a duet with her mum.

Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, Jimmy Kimmel, Sean Penn and David Letterman served as special guest speakers.

Vax Live was one of the largest concert gatherings in southern California since the coronavirus pandemic began more a year ago. Organisers called the event the US’s first large-scale music event for a Covid-19-compliant audience where media and production staff needed to show a negative PCR test before entering the stadium.

- Additional reporting from AP

Scroll through our gallery below to see more images from the Vax Live event:

Updated: May 9, 2021 05:58 PM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one