By Robert Egbe
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday earmarked $2.1 billion for women economic empowerment, women and girls’ health and family planning, as well as accelerated women leadership in Nigeria and other countries.
The foundation said the funds would be disbursed over the next five years as part of the Generation Equality Forum convened by the United Nations (UN) Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France.
The forum is holding in Paris (France) – from June 30 to July 2, 2021 – bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society partners to commit to specific actions and announce financial, political, and programmatic commitments that will accelerate gender equality and advance women rights.
The $2.1 billion will boost activity in three areas: economic empowerment ($650 million), health and family planning ($1.4 billion), and accelerating women in leadership ($100 million over five years/$230 million over 10 years).
“The world has been fighting for gender equality for decades, but progress has been slow. Now is the chance to reignite a movement and deliver real change,” said Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation.
“The beauty of our fight for gender equality is that every human being will gain from it. We must seize this moment to build a better, more equal future,” she added.