The news that Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry in May 2018 has delighted fans of the couple worldwide. But Markle also used the engagement announcement as an opportunity to reveal that she’s leaving her acting career to focus on philanthropy. The soon-to-be royal is no stranger to working with charitable organizations, and has often used her platform to advocate on behalf of other people.
After announcing the engagement, Markle told the BBC, “What’s been really exciting, as we talk about this as the transition out of my career… is that the causes that have been very important to me, I can focus even more energy on.”
Here are just some of the times Markle used her celebrity status for advocacy and charity.
1) Working as a Global Ambassador for World Vision.
Markle wrote an article for TIME called “How Periods Affect Potential,” about the way menstruation can hinder a woman’s potential if she doesn’t have access to tampons and pads. Markle wrote:
“I traveled to Delhi and Mumbai this January with World Vision to meet girls and women directly impacted by the stigmatization of menstrual health and to learn how it hinders girls’ education. One hundred and thirteen million adolescent girls between the ages of 12-14 in India alone are at risk of dropping out of school because of the stigma surrounding menstrual health.”
She also supported World Vision’s Clean Water Campaign in Rwanda in 2016.
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2) Supporting the Myna Mahila Foundation.
Markle’s work with the Myna Mahila Foundation is also tied to her support of World Vision. According to Vanity Fair, at this organization, “women manufacture sanitary pads to sell in communities. The effort not only provides these resources to girls, but also fosters open communication about menstruation.” Markle’s commitment to women’s issues, and the open discussion of topics such as menstruation, is important for communities everywhere.
3) Being a One Young World Counsellor.
One Young World’s mission is to “gather young leaders from around the world, help them make lasting connections & create positive change.” Markle was a Counsellor in One Young World Summits in Dublin, Ireland (2014), and Ottawa, Canada (2016). At 2016’s Summit, she delivered a talk alongside Justin Trudeau and famously called out the Suits creator for gender inequality for requiring her character to do so many semi-naked scenes on the show. Presumably, Markle will continue advocating for women’s healthcare worldwide once she joins the British royal family.
4) She’s an advocate for the United Nations.
In November 2016, Markle wrote for ELLE UK about her experience working with the United Nations: “I was in a van heading back from Gihembe refugee camp in Rwanda. I was there as an advocate for UN Women; I had a week of meetings with female parliamentarians in the city’s capital, Kigali, celebrating the fact that 64 percent of the Rwandan government are women–the first in the world where women hold a majority.”
Markle made her dedication to humanitarian work clear in the essay, writing, “This type of work is what feeds my soul. The degree to which I can do that both on and off camera is a direct perk of my job.”
5) Standing up to gender inequality when she was 11.
Markle’s advocacy on behalf of women began when she was just 11 years old. Upon seeing a sexist advertisement on TV, Markle wrote letters to Hillary Clinton, Linda Ellerbee, Gloria Allred, and the company responsible for the ad. Markle received replies from all three women, and the soap company changed the wording in the commercial.
As Markle revealed at the UN Women‘s Conference in Beijing in 2015:
“The soap manufacturer Procter & Gamble changed the commercial for their ivory clear dish-washing liquid. They changed it from ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ to ‘People all over America.’ It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions. At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.”
Markle posted on Instagram, “Exercise your right to vote—sadly, not everyone in this world has it, so if you do, please let your voice be heard.” She has continually encouraged women to speak up for themselves, and exercise the power they have to inform politics.
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This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US