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July 24, 2024
Melinda French Gates Commits $1 Billion to Women’s Causes and Gender Equity
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Melinda French Gates Commits $1 Billion to Women’s Causes and Gender Equity

May 29, 2024

Renowned philanthropist Melinda French Gates has announced a groundbreaking commitment of $1 billion over the next two years to support women’s causes and promote gender equity worldwide. The announcement, made on Tuesday, signals a significant investment in organizations fighting for gender and reproductive rights, particularly in the United States.

In a powerful guest essay published in The New York Times, French Gates highlighted her decision to allocate $200 million specifically towards organizations advocating for gender and reproductive rights in the US. This commitment comes in response to the 2022 Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion, a pivotal moment that underscored the urgent need for action.

French Gates, who recently announced her decision to step back from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will channel these funds through her company, Pivotal Ventures, until 2026. Notably, $20 million will be distributed to a diverse group of 12 global leaders for allocation to organizations of their choice by the end of 2026.

In addition, Pivotal Ventures will reserve another $250 million in the fall to support global organizations focused on women’s mental and physical health, further amplifying French Gates’ commitment to comprehensive support for women’s well-being.

Emphasizing the importance of adequately funding women’s causes, French Gates remarked in her essay, “When we allow this cause to go so chronically underfunded, we all pay the cost.” She expressed concern for future generations, including her granddaughter, highlighting the potential erosion of women’s rights.

Among the recipients of French Gates’ grants are prominent organizations such as the Center for Reproductive Rights, MomsRising, the National Women’s Law Center, The 19th, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. These organizations play vital roles in advocating for women’s rights, economic security, gender equity, and reproductive health.

Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at the Center for Reproductive Rights, emphasized the critical timing of French Gates’ support, stressing the increased attention on reproductive rights and the need for sustained funding.

Ai-jen Poo, President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, hailed French Gates’ bold commitment as long overdue, highlighting its significance in recognizing and supporting the essential contributions of women in society.

French Gates’ monumental pledge not only provides crucial financial support to organizations at the forefront of gender equity but also sends a powerful message about the imperative of investing in women’s causes and empowering women globally.

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