Melinda French Gates Commits $1 Billion to Support Reproductive Rights and Women Around the World

Melinda French Gates, American philanthropist and ex-wife of tech mogul Bill Gates, has pledged $1 billion through 2026 to advance the global power of women via her Pivotal Ventures Foundation. In the May 28 announcement made on the Pivotal Ventures website, French Gates broke down how the $1 billion would be donated.

$200 million will go toward organizations in the U.S. fighting to “advance women’s power and protect their rights, including reproductive freedom.” $240 million will be distributed amongst 12 global leaders, who will each receive $20 million to donate to charitable organizations of their choosing. The final $250 million will be awarded this fall through Lever of Change to organizations that work to improve the mental and physical health of women worldwide.

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“For too long, a lack of money has forced organizations fighting for women’s rights into a defensive posture while the enemies of progress play offense,” French Gates said. “I want to help even the match.”

French Gates founded Pivotal Ventures in 2015 to advance equality and opportunity through high-impact donations, partnerships, advocacy and philanthropy. Since its inception, Pivotal has partnered with the Center for Inclusive Computing, Paid Leave for All and the Center for American Women and Politics. French Gates and her team have also worked towards improvements in caregiving, education and mental health.

For more than 20 years, French Gates was a co-chair and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to improve the health of children across the globe. Associated Press recently reported that French Gates will soon leave the Gates Foundation and receive $12.5 from Gates as per their divorce agreement.

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