To HRH The Duchess of Sussex, Ms. Meghan Markle,

Congratulations on your marriage to Harry, HRH The Duke of Sussex. We hope you enjoyed your day - a true celebration of love.

We are delighted that you have been able to decide what you wish to do with your life. You have been free to marry the person you love.

Today you will attend your first official engagement as a member of the Royal Family and you now hold a unique position of influence. As a passionate advocate for women’s rights, you know that the freedom to make decisions about their bodies, their lives and their futures is denied to countless women across the world. Every girl and woman deserves this fundamental right.

When a woman cannot decide about her own body, she cannot create the life she deserves. She cannot create the family she wants. She cannot create a prosperous future to call her own.

By 2030 it’s expected that nearly 150 million girls will be forced to marry before their 18th birthday.[1] We are sure that you share our belief that every girl and every woman should be free to decide whether, when and with whom, they have sex, fall in love, marry and have children. Without question.

More than 25 million unsafe abortions take place every year[2]This does not need to be the case. Every girl and woman should be free to feel pleasure, to use contraception, to access abortion safely. To be free from pressure, harm, judgement and fear.

You once said: “Women don’t need to find their voices. They have a voice.  They need to be empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen.”

Many people around the world agree with you and they are uniting. Standing together with every girl and every woman, so she can stand up, so she can speak out, so that people start to listen.

SheDecides is a global movement that wants to create a new normal: a world where women and girls can safely exercise their right to decide for themselves what they do with their own bodies. We are very far from that new normal. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to create that world where SheDecides.   

We thank you for your commitment to creating a better world for women, one where they can make choices and be empowered. To see a member of the world’s most famous family declare they are “proud to be a woman and a feminist” is a real moment of hope.

We hope that your many years of happy marriage will see change around the world, change that gives all women the right to decide.

Yours sincerely,

The SheDecides movement

Sign the manifesto here.

[1] https://www.icrw.org/child-marriage-facts-and-figures/

[2] Accelerate progress – sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, May 2018 https://www.thelancet.com/commissions/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights