When Meghan Markle steps onto the stage Friday for a public discussion on girls’ education, she will be continuing a fight she has championed for many years around the world.
Angie Murimirwa, executive director of Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)this link opens in a new tab, will be among those joining Meghan on a panel discussion for International Women’s Day — along with musician and activist Annie Lennox, model and activist Adwoa Aboah and former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard.
“[Meghan’s] a long-standing supporter for women’s rights, for equality and for equal opportunities, and it is really exciting that she is doing this along with other women who are in the space of education on International Women’s Day,” Murimirwa tells PEOPLE.
“I’m really excited that she’s carrying forward this passion here in Europe.”
Murimirwa also applauds Meghan’s husband, Prince Harry, 34, who took up the campaign in Africa when he visited with CAMFED in Zambia last November.
In Morocco last month, the royal couple visited a boarding house and school – both run by Education For All,this link opens in a new tab which works to get young girls into school.
“It is about dismantling barriers to girls’ education and education for children,” Murimirwa adds. “I respect that they focused on that – looking at what is that is stopping girls going into school in every context and tackling that head on.”
Murimirwa, who is also co-founder of CAMFED’s alumni association CAMA, says she will be using the panel discussion to address the fact “that there is still a great need out there. We have 52.2 million girls in sub-Saharan Africa who are still out of school. That is the reality. The most important thing is the potential that we have to be able to do something about it in this generation.”
CAMFED’s goal is to raise $265,000 to help reach 30,000 “invisible” girls – those who don’t show up on official records of any kind – and start the process of getting them into school. That is “my call to action,” she says.
Meghan is set to talk about the importance of International Women’s Day and the spotlight it can bring to obstacles hindering female empowerment across the world, including “access to education and limitations within employment,” the palace said in a statement.