The Gates Foundation is committed to donating $ 2.1 billion to women’s causes



The Gates Foundation is committed to donating $ 2.1 billion to support women’s economic and health issues in its first major initiative since the world’s largest philanthropic group was shaken by last month’s announcement. that its co-chairs, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, were ending marriage.

The issue of gender equality is cherished by French Gates, a former Microsoft executive, who in recent years has adopted it as its primary mission. In addition to the Gates Foundation, it also operates a $ 5 billion investment fund, Pivotal Ventures, dedicated to women’s causes.

But Gates Foundation support for women’s issues has become uncomfortable after reports surfaced about Bill Gates’ relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who committed suicide in prison in 2019 while waiting. the trial on charges of trafficking in underage girls.

A spokesman said Gates regretted meeting Epstein and did so only to discuss philanthropic projects.

The last pledged money will be given over five years and will be divided into three broad categories: $ 650 million for economic empowerment, in part supporting family care and other unpaid work that falls largely on the women; $ 1.4 million for family planning and contraception; and $ 100 million to help women take on leadership roles in business, politics and other fields.

The donation coincides with the Generation Equality Forum, a UN-sponsored event that will bring together governments and nonprofit groups for three days in Paris to advance the cause of gender equality.

This mission, according to the sponsors, has received a new impetus for the coronavirus pandemic, which has put a disproportionate economic burden on women, as it has expelled them from the workforce and forced them to take on a greater burden of family care. .

In a statement, French Gates said: “The world has been fighting for gender equality for decades, but progress has been slow. Now is the opportunity to revive a movement and bring about real change.”

The announcement comes at a time of turmoil for the $ 50 billion Gates Foundation, funded by Gates’ accumulated fortune as a co-founder of Microsoft.

When they they announced their marital split, Gates and French Gates insisted that they would remain committed to their mission and that they would continue to work together.

But some former executives have questioned whether the philanthropic juggler can continue to function as it is currently constituted. These concerns deepened after Warren Buffett, the president of Berkshire Hathaway who has dedicated most of his fortune to the foundation, announced last week that he was resigning as administrator.

Mark Suzman, chief executive of the foundation, has told staff he will reveal more changes in his government next month.

In a statement announcing the $ 2.1 billion pledge, Gates said, “Prioritizing gender equality is not only right, but it is essential to fighting poverty and preventable diseases.”

Meanwhile, the foundation also presented new economic data illustrating how the pandemic has exacerbated gender inequality by pushing women out of the workforce in disproportionate numbers.

According to data from the International Labor Organization, unemployment among women increased 13 million between 2019 and 2020, and is expected to increase 2 million more this year, while men have largely recovered their jobs. work lost during the pandemic.

“Gender equality is an economic necessity,” French Gates wrote in a separate letter. “One of the main reasons why economies were so fragile in the first place was that women were marginalized. And these economies will never recover if their leaders continue to marginalize women. “


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *