Fresh from their appearance at the NAACP Image Awards over the weekend, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry marked the start of Women’s History Month by announcing a series of new grants through the Archewell Foundation. On March 1, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced via their foundation’s website that they will be supporting four main organizations championing gender equality through the new grants, including Meghan Markle’s Smart Works patronage, based in the UK.
“As we cross into Women’s History Month, and ahead of International Women’s Day next week, Archewell Foundation is announcing a number of non-profit investments in leading organizations [sic] working to advance gender equity, build policies that empower women and families, ensure meaningful media representation for women, and provide women with a network of tools and support for gaining employment,” read the announcement.
“Throughout her life, Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex has worked to promote stronger communities and more equitable outcomes for families,” the statement continued. “She has met with leaders across the public and private sector to champion women’s economic independence and access to paid leave and has sought to bring a comprehensive approach to women’s empowerment.”
Meghan has been a patron of Smart Works – a UK-based charity that helps to empower women with the confidence they need to secure employment – since 2019, even creating a capsule collection with partners such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis to support the charity the same year. The new grant from the Archewell Foundation will enable the creation of the Smart Works Female Unemployment Index, “an extremely robust study looking at unemployment issues that affect women across the UK,” says the statement. The Index aims to create a benchmark against which progress and change can be tracked.
The three other organizations receiving grants are The Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown University Law Center, an initiative centering marginalized girls in research, policy, and practice; the National Women’s Law Center, an advocate for gender justice in the U.S., and The 19th, an independent newsroom reporting on gender, politics, and policy.