Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Discuss COVID's Impact on Girls With Malala Yousafzai

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry discussed the impact of coronavirus of female education with Malala Yousafzai for International Day of the Girl.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pre-recorded the conversation, which tackled the subject of female education around the world.

Footage will be broadcast on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET on the Malala Fund YouTube channel.

Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for going to school aged just 15, but survived and has since been fighting for education for girls.

The trio discussed the barriers stopping 130 million girls from accessing education.

A Sussex source said: "In honor of International Day of the Girl, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a conversation with Malala Yousafzai about the ongoing challenges that women and girls around the world face in accessing education, especially in light of the global pandemic.

"Their conversation looked at COVID-19's disproportionate impact on young women's access to education and how everyone can all contribute to a more equal future for girls, as well as the value of education in their own lives."

The Malala Fund research suggests an additional 20 million secondary school girls excluded from the classroom due to coronavirus may never return to education after lockdowns are lifted.

Meghan Markle Association of Commonwealth Universities Visit
Meghan Markle, Patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), visits the University of Johannesburg on October 1, 2019, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tim Rooke/Getty

The charity is working to highlight the issue with families, communities, schools and governments in the hope of improving the lives of millions.

UNESCO has identified 130 million girls out of education. In a 2018 report the World Bank put the cost in lost income to women at $30 trillion.

The financial institution also said completing secondary education could reduce rates of child marriage, lower fertility in countries with high population growth and reduce child mortality and malnutrition.

Meghan spoke out about female education a year ago in her role as patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

At the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, she said: "The goal here is to be able to have gender equality, to be able to support women as they are working in research and higher roles.

"And also to be able to have workshops, convene things that are really helping people understand the importance of gender equality.

"True to what you said, when a woman is empowered it changes absolutely everything in the community and starting an educational atmosphere is really a key point of that."

The duke and duchess also last month donated $129,000 to Camfed, which funds university places for girls across Africa.

The move match funded the sum generated by their supporters in a campaign drive for both their birthdays.

The couple said at the time: "No better way to celebrate what really matters. Thank you to everyone who donated, Harry and Meghan."

On the Malala Fund website, Yousafzai says of her ordeal: "In October 2012, on my way home from school, a masked gunman boarded my school bus and asked, 'Who is Malala?'

"He shot me on the left side of my head. I woke up 10 days later in a hospital in Birmingham, England.

"The doctors and nurses told me about the attack—and that people around the world were praying for my recovery."