Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Melinda Gates, Here's Why I'm Committing $1 Billion to Gender Equality
Here’s what keeps me up at night: I imagine waking up one morning to find that the country has moved on. That the media has stopped reporting on systemic inequalities. That diversity remains something companies talk about instead of prioritizing. That all of this energy and attention has amounted to a temporary swell instead of a sea change.
There is too much at stake to allow that to happen. Too many people—women and men—have worked too hard to get us this far. And there are too many possible solutions we haven’t tried yet.
That’s why, over the next ten years, I am committing $1 billion to expanding women’s power and influence in the United States.
I want to see more women in the position to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives. I believe that women’s potential is worth investing in—and the people and organizations working to improve women’s lives are, too.
Gender equality in the U.S. has been chronically underfunded. Data from Candid’s Foundation Directory Online suggests that private donors give $9.27 to higher education and $4.85 to the arts for every $1 they give to women’s issues. What’s more, 90 cents of each dollar donors spend on women is going to reproductive health. As absolutely essential as reproductive health is, we also need to fund other unmet needs.