Jun 30, 2021 - Economy & Business

Gates Foundation commits $2.1 billion toward gender equality

The exterior of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

The Gates Foundation said Wednesday it will spend $2.1 billion on gender-equality work over the next five years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: It's one of the largest commitments the foundation has made to a cause in over 20 years of work, at about roughly $420 million a year. The funding is aimed at helping women get training and financial services, and elevating women into leadership roles in health, law and economics, per WSJ.

The big picture: The announcement comes weeks after Bill and Melinda French Gates announced their divorce, and as the foundation navigates potential leadership changes.

  • The pair reportedly discussed adding a board to the foundation and hiring outside directors, per WSJ.

What they're saying: “Prioritizing gender equality is not only the right thing to do, it is essential to fighting poverty and preventable disease,” Gates said in a statement to the WSJ.

  • “The world has been fighting for gender equality for decades, but progress has been slow,” French Gates said.
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