As 2017 comes to a close, we are honouring Toronto's most inspirational women of the year. Take a look at our 12-part series highlighting the changemakers who are pushing for women's rights, exposing the inequalities in our city, achieving excellence in what they do and giving back through advocacy, activism, philanthropy and more.
The actor: Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle is now one of the most photographed and most googled women in the world. Markle may be most famous for dating a prince, but she has also made a name for herself in her own right, thanks to her acting ability, her big smile, big heart and philanthropic work. Her philanthropy and activism began at the ripe age of 11 when she wrote a letter about a soap advertisement that she believed to be sexist. Young Markle sent that letter to several high-profile people, including the then-first lady Hillary Clinton. (And, yes, the letter worked, and the ad was altered!)
Over the years, the Suits star has visited Rwanda and India with World Vision Canada and worked with the charity One Young World. She is also a United Nations Women ambassador and gave a speech on International Women’s Day in 2015 at a UN Women conference.
Earlier this year, Markle spent a week in the slum communities in India, where she focused on education for girls, economic development and health care. She became a World Vision global ambassador in 2016 after travelling to Rwanda to help with a new clean water pipeline.
As she now makes the move from the Annex to across the pond, Markle may be putting her acting career on the back burner and allowing her desire to do good to become her full-time passion. Markle may set up her own foundation concentrating on “young, vulnerable women around the world.” Although we often see Markle in the spotlight, it’s important to remember that she’s the one who puts the spotlight on charities and causes she truly cares about.