Suits star Meghan Markle has been in the headlines recently after sparking up a romance with Prince Harry, and as her profile continues to rise, she's using her voice to speak out against gender inequality.
The 35-year-old actress penned an essay for Elle UK recently, where she opened up about her own humanitarian work and her role as a global citizen.
"I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My mother was a free-spirited clinical therapist and I had the most hard-working father, a television lighting director by trade. My mum raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities," Markle wrote. "We spent time travelling to remote places, taking trips to Oaxaca in southern Mexico where I saw children peddling Chiclets candy for a few extra pesos to bring home."
"My parents came from little so they made a choice to give a lot: buying turkeys for homeless shelters at Thanksgiving, delivering meals to people in hospices, giving spare change to those asking for it," she continued. "It's what I grew up seeing, so it's what I grew up being: a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could and speak up when I knew something was wrong."
Markle went on to explain that, as soon as she got the opportunity to star on Suits, it meant that people were going to be listening to what she had to say in a way she'd never experienced before. So she knew she "needed to be saying something of value."
"With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility – to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings. And, if I'm lucky enough, to inspire," she shared.
Markle also explained that she's not trying to denigrate Hollywood, explaining that the entertainment industry "gives people an escape, a catalyst to laugh and to balance the realities of life."
"Plus, my gig as a working actor is the hand that feeds me," she added. "Without that, I could never be the hand that feeds another at this level. Were it not for my show and website, I would never have been asked to be a global ambassador for World Vision or an advocate for UN Women, both of which are honors I relish."
Recently, Markle returned to the set of Suits in Toronto, Canada, after vacationing in London with her royal boyfriend. The actress wrapping filming hours before Prince Harry kicked off his tour of the Caribbean.
Earlier this month, Markle and her royal beau spent time together across the pond where the actress reportedly met with Prince Harry's brother, Prince William, and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.