She and her husband Prince Harry acted as campaign chairs of the event, which saw acts such as Foo Fighters, Jennifer Lopez, and H.E.R perform in support of vaccination efforts around the world against the spread of Covid-19.
The video messaged marked Meghan’s first TV appearance since she and Harry spoke with Oprah Winfrey in a headline-making interview which aired in March.
“The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle Covid-19. We’ve gathered tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter,” Meghan said in a pre-recorded message.
“But it’s going to take every one of us to find our way forward. As campaign chairs of Vax Live, my husband and I believe it's critical that our recovery prioritises the health, safety and success of everyone – and particularly women, who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.”
Meghan referenced “the surge in gender-based violence”, “the increased responsibility of unpaid care work”, and “new obstacles that have reversed so much progress for women in the workplace”, adding: “We’re at an inflection point for gender equity.”
She told viewers that “women, and especially women of colour, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out”, stating that 5.5 million women have lost their jobs in the US since the beginning of the pandemic, and that 47 million women and girls across the world are expected to be pushed into poverty.
“But if we work together to bring vaccines to every country and continent, insist that vaccines are equitably distributed and fairly priced, and ensure that governments around the world are donating their additional vaccines to countries in need, then we can begin to fully rebuild,” she added. “Not only to restore us to where we were before, but to go further, and rapidly advance the conditions, opportunity, and mobility for women everywhere.”
Meghan then referenced the second child she and Harry are currently expecting, after welcoming their firstborn, Archie, in May 2019. The pregnancy is believed to be the reason why Meghan couldn’t attend Vax Live in person.
“My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter,” she said.
“It's a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and the support to lead us forward.
“Their future leadership depends on the decisions we make and the actions we take now to set them up, and set all of us up, for a successful, equitable, and compassionate tomorrow. ... We want to make sure that as we recover, we recover stronger. That as we rebuild, we rebuild together. Thank you.”
For coverage of the Vax Live concert as it happened, click here.