Meghan Markle's feminist action comes full circle as she speaks at event presented by first company she campaigned against

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·Royal Correspondent
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  • Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
    Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
    American actress
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 28:  Meghan, Duchess of Sussex addresses a reception hosted by the Governor-General celebrating the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand at Government House on October 28, 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.  (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool /Getty Images)
Meghan has long campaigned on feminist issues. (Getty Images)

Meghan Markle is to speak at a virtual summit to encourage female leadership, presented by the same company she first campaigned against when she was 11.

The Duchess of Sussex is booked to speak at Girl Up, which is run by the United Nations, and is described as a “global leadership summit”.

It’s hosted by P&G, formerly known as Proctor and Gamble, who Meghan wrote to when she was 11 after seeing an advert by them she described as sexist.

The advert, for dishwashing detergent, suggested women do all the cleaning. The company changed the line after her letter, and she appeared on Nickelodeon to talk about it.

Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg and Meghan’s friend Priyanka Chopra Jone are also due to speak at the summit. Harry and Meghan have signed up to the same speaking agency as the Obamas.

The duchess, 38, has not stopped in her campaigning for feminism since her childhood days, including during her time as a senior royal.

Read more: Meghan's history of campaigning against racism – from early acting days to royal court cases

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Alternative crop of image #1205706931) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex poses with school children making the 'Equality' sign following a school assembly during a visit to Robert Clack School in Dagenham to attend a special assembly ahead of International Women’s Day (IWD) held on Sunday 8th March, on March 6, 2020 in London, England.   (Photo by Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan with pupils in London ahead of International Women's Day in her last engagements. (Getty Images)

Before she met Harry she was a UN Women’s Ambassador. In 2019, she took part in a panel discussion about feminism and talked about the importance of men being feminists too.

Her first speech on a royal tour abroad, in Fiji, was about how girls “can create incredible futures” for themselves and others when they have “the right tools to succeed”.

Meghan’s role at the conference was announced with a tweet, which read: “The present is female! But don’t take our word for it. Hear Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex’s advice for global girls leaders when she takes the stage at the 2020 @GirlUp Leadership Summit, happening virtually July 13-15!”

Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan say people will be 'uncomfortable' as racism and unconscious bias are tackled across the Commonwealth

The event invitation says: “No matter their background, girls have the power to transform themselves, their communities, and the world around them. Girl Up is a global movement of empowered young women leaders who defend gender equality.

“Through leadership development training, Girl Up gives girls the resources and platform to start a movement for social change wherever they are. For those who stand with us in this movement, there is no rest until we achieve equal rights for every girl. Because when girls rise, we all rise.

“Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010 and continues to work across a global community of partners to achieve gender equality worldwide.”

Read more: International Women's Day: The Royal Family's most feminist moments

SUVA, SUVA - OCTOBER 24:  (NO UK SALES FOR 28 DAYS) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits Suva Market to meet some of the female vendors who have been involved in the UN Women's project 'Markets for Change'. on October 24, 2018 in Suva, Fiji.  The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.  (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Meghan at Suva Market to meet some of the female vendors who have been involved in the UN Women's project 'Markets for Change'. (WireImage)

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, are living in Los Angeles and planning their next moves as they prepare to launch a non-profit foundation called Archewell.

They have been holding talks with community leaders in the wake of the death of George Floyd and are could make racial justice a key part of their organisation’s aims.

Meghan’s appearance at this UN summit might also give a clue about issues they will focus on through the organisation.

The summit takes place between 13 and 15 July.

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