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Melinda French Gates Donates $1 Billion to Women’s Rights

Melinda French Gates announced she will donate $1 billion over the next two years to support women’s and family rights worldwide, focusing on reproductive rights and maternal health. In a New York Times op-ed, she expressed concern that her 1-year-old granddaughter might grow up with fewer rights than she had.

French Gates, stepping down from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, highlighted the political violence against women and the lack of national paid family leave in the U.S. She emphasized that only a small percentage of charitable giving targets women and girls, and even less supports women of color.

Through her organization Pivotal Ventures, French Gates is already funding groups like the National Women’s Law Center and the Center for Reproductive Rights. She will also launch a $250 million initiative to improve women’s and girls’ health globally and has provided influential leaders with $20 million grant-making funds to further women’s rights.