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Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for THR

Melinda Gates announced in Time Magazine on Wednesday that she is committing $1 billion over the next 10 years to promote gender equality and grow "women's power and influence in the United States."

What she's saying: "Gender equality in the U.S. has been chronically underfunded. ... $1 billion is a lot of money, but I also recognize that it’s only a small fraction of what's necessary. That's why I hope the financial commitment I'm making today is seen as both a vote of confidence in the experts and advocates who are already working on these issues—and an invitation for others to join the cause and make commitments of their own...."

"Equality can't wait, and no one in a position to act should either."

Details... The resources will be used to achieve 3 goals:

  • Break down barriers that hinder women's professional advancement.
  • Fast-trace females in fields such as technology and media, and encourage women to run for public office.
  • Mobilize people to encourage organizational reforms.

Go deeper: Bill Gates: Gender inequality affects every country on Earth

Go deeper

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.

14 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

17 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.