Photo courtesy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will spend $2.1 billion over five years to improve gender equality.

Ursuline Academy alumna Melinda French Gates has been committed to working with programs that help women and families for years. In 2019, she announced a 10-year, $1 billion investment in gender equality through Pivotal Ventures, her investment and incubation company established to “advance social progress.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the funds will specifically be used to help women gain access to training and financial services, increase access to contraceptives and help them advance to leadership roles in health, law and economics. They will also go toward providers of family-planning services.

It breaks down to $650 million spent on economic empowerment, $1.4 billion spent on family planning and women’s health and $100 million spent on accelerating women in leadership.

“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,” French Gates said in a statement. “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.”

French Gates made the announcement at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris.

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