'Birth justice for all': What Harry and Meghan want you to do to help

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019 in Windsor, England. The Duchess of Sussex gave birth at 05:26 on Monday 06 May, 2019. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan with their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor a few days after his birth in May 2019 in Windsor. (Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have set out an ambitious goal of achieving "birth justice for all mothers" as they rally their followers to support women ahead of International Women's Day.

Through their non-profit, Archewell Foundation, the couple has encouraged people to take on "real and achievable acts of compassion" throughout March, which is Women's History Month.

The list of suggestions range from calling a friend, to cooking a meal for someone, to helping "achieve birth justice for all moms, not just some".

A spokesperson for the couple confirmed Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, would also be carrying out some of the ideas on the list themselves, adding they "are hopeful to see families and communities everywhere join together to unleash compassion, one action at a time".

The suggestion of achieving birth justice is accompanied by a tagline of "Everyone has a role to play" on the Archewell website, as well as a link to the charity Every Mother Counts.

According to Every Mother Counts, about 800 women die every day from complications in childbirth.

The charity works to improve maternity care access for women around the world, to ensure more have access to quality services.

The royal couple also suggest helping a parent or neighbour register and get their COVID-19 vaccine.

With an idea to call a friend, they say: "From work to family care, many of us are juggling a lot at the moment. Asking something as simple as 'Are you OK?' can go a long way."

Watch: Prince Harry opens up about Princess Diana's death in interview with Oprah Winfrey

Read more: Should Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview air while Prince Philip is in hospital?

The simple question is one that is becoming associated with the Duchess of Sussex, as it was asked of her by Tom Bradby when she and Prince Harry were on royal tour in South Africa.

She drew on that moment in a New York Times article in which she explained her heartbreak when she suffered a miscarriage in the summer of 2020, and said asking it again would help them heal.

The duchess wrote: “Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realised that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?’”

She added: “[L]et us commit to asking others, “Are you OK?” As much as we may disagree, as physically distanced as we may be, the truth is that we are more connected than ever because of all we have individually and collectively endured this year."

The couple has also promoted the work of SmartWorks, one of Meghan's remaining UK patronages, which helps vulnerable and unemployed women prepare for interviews and get back into work.

Archewell is the non-profit organisation founded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since they stepped back from their roles as senior Royal Family members.

It carries the same name as their production companies, Archewell Audio and Archewell Productions, through which they will make their podcasts for Spotify and their programmes for Netflix.

The couple has already secured a number of partners for their work with the foundation, including World Central Kitchen, which is setting up four community centres around the world with funding from Archewell.

Watch: Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce opening project for Archewell