Remember Meghan Markle's Dish Soap Campaign? Here’s How She’s Continuing That Fight Against Sexism

In the 1990s, a young Meghan Markle called out Procter & Gamble's sexist soap ad. Here's how she and Prince Harry are now teaming up with the brand for a campaign on gender equality.

By Lindsay Weinberg May 11, 2021 8:43 PMTags
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Meghan Markle is definitely making her 11-year-old self proud. 

The Duchess of Sussex has been open about how her interest in women's rights began in a classroom in Los Angeles when she was a preteen. At the time, her class was discussing commercials and—as the now-famous story goes—Meghan noticed that Procter & Gamble used sexist language in an ad for dish soap. She wrote to the company and successfully lobbied the brand to change the wording from "women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" to "people are fighting greasy pots and pans." 

After winning her first fight against sexism at the ripe age of just 11, Meghan is now re-teaming with Procter & Gamble through her Archewell Foundation to continue advocating for gender equality.

On Tuesday, May 11, she and Prince Harry announced a multi-year global partnership with Procter & Gamble, making for a sentimental full-circle moment. 

"Based on shared values, the partnership will focus on gender equality, more inclusive online spaces, and resilience and impact through sport," the royals announced in a press release. "It will build on joint aspirations." 

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They explained the work is tied to Harry's appearance at Global Citizen's VAX LIVE charity concert on May 2, which the press release described as "an event that inspired vaccine confidence worldwide" while using $300 million to fight for increased access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

Meghan, who is expecting a daughter this summer, shared a passionate plea at the event in a pre-recorded segment, advocating "for a successful, equitable and compassionate tomorrow." 

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Their P&G partnership will also "elevate the voices of adolescent girls to ensure their point of view and lived experience is heard at the tables where decisions are made," today's announcement went on. "Together we will underscore the importance of engaging men and boys in the drive for gender equity throughout society and encourage shared caregiving at home so everyone in the family can thrive."

For Mother's Day, P&G and the Archewell Foundation supported Harvest Home, a homeless shelter for expectant mothers based in Santa Monica, Calif.

The couple helped donate diapers, cleaning supplies and other essentials, according to Harvest Home's Instagram page.

"This incredible Mother's Day surprise was accompanied by a personal letter from The Duchess that included these inspiring words: 'As a mom, and an expectant mom, I deeply appreciate the significance of community support, safe and accessible pregnancy resources, and trusted guidance in a nurturing setting. These ingredients are essential to not just our physical health, but our mental well-being, and I commend you for leading a compassionate community that lives these values,'" the nonprofit shared on social media. 

The organization quoted Meghan as adding, "Thank you for all you do for the women and mothers who are turned away elsewhere, at no fault of their own. When we consider how vulnerable any mother feels during the fragile time of pregnancy, we gain perspective about how especially difficult it can be for pregnant women of color and those who come from under-resourced and vulnerable communities."

The Sussexes' are also hard at work on Meg's children's book The Bench and Harry's docuseries with Oprah Winfrey about mental health.

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