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2022 11 22 | Host: Teresa Bartel | Meghan Markle & Gender Equality

Teresa Bartel shared a YouTube video of Meghan Markle’s 2015 speech before United Nations Women, focusing on gender equality. At this point, Meghan was the UN Womens’ Advocate for Political Participation & Leadership, having perhaps unwittingly begun her advocacy work twenty years before, at the age of 11. During a school presentation, she watched a television ad for dishwashing liquid, with the tag line “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots & pans,” & was horrified to hear a couple of male classmates say, “Yeah, that’s where women belong – in the kitchen.” Shocked & angry, she told her father, who advised her to send letters of protest to women of influence. So, letters went to First Lady Hilary Clinton, powerhouse lawyer Gloria Allred, & the host of a kids news program, plus the manufacturer of the dish soap. Within weeks, she had responses from all of them, with Proctor & Gamble changing their ad. This taught her the power of standing up for equality. Recent research shows the percentage of female parliamentarians globally has increased only 11% in twenty years, & at the current rate, gender equality will be reached in 2095! It is neither just nor practical that 50% of our global population & potential be limited. Girls & women need to be mobilized to see their value as individuals, as leaders, & as decision-makers at the highest levels. Teresa noted that our current & first female President of Rotary International, is Jennifer Jones, from Windsor, ON.