In a letter to Congress today, the Duchess of Sussex discussed the birth of her daughter in support of a comprehensive paid leave programme.
Meghan Markle advocated for a comprehensive paid leave programme in an open letter to Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and members of the US Congress today. She states at the outset of the memo that she is neither a politician nor an elected official, but rather “an engaged citizen and a parent.”
“I’m writing on behalf of millions of American families who are raising their voices to say that paid family leave should not be a place for compromise or negotiation. In fact, most countries already have paid leave policies,” she writes, noting that the US “does not federally guarantee any person a single day of paid leave.” And only about one out of every four workers has access to paid family leave through their employer.”
Meghan also discusses her experience after the birth of her daughter Lili in the letter, which can be read in its entirety at paidleaveforall.org. She describes herself and Prince Harry as “overjoyed” and “overwhelmed” in the aftermath of her arrival.
“My husband and I welcomed our second child in June. We were ecstatic, as any parent would be. We, like many other parents, were completely overwhelmed. We weren’t faced with the harsh reality of either spending those first few crucial months with our baby or returning to work, like so few other parents. We knew we could take her home and devote our entire lives to our children and family at that crucial (and sacred) stage. We knew that if we did so, we wouldn’t have to make the difficult decisions about childcare, work, and medical care that so many people face on a daily basis “She is a writer.
“These are decisions that no family should have to make. No family should have to choose between working and being able to care for their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as a comprehensive paid leave plan would allow).”
Meghan ends the letter by pointing out how polarised American politics will be in 2021, and how this could be an opportunity for both parties to work together.
“I’m well aware of how politically charged issues can — and have — become. But this isn’t a matter of right or wrong; it’s a matter of right or wrong. It’s about prioritising families over politics. And, for a change, it’s something on which we all seem to agree. Let this be a shared goal that unites us at a time when everything feels so divisive “She is a writer.
“So, on behalf of my family, Archie, Lili, and Harry, I thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and on behalf of all families, I ask you to make sure this crucial moment does not pass us by.”