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3 takeaways from Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott teaming up to fund women’s and girls’ causes

French Gates (left), shown here with Oprah Winfrey, makes gender equity a top priority in her giving. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott, two of the biggest U.S. donors, have joined forces by funding the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge.

The contest, intended to expand the power and influence of women in the United States by 2030, garnered more than 550 proposals. On July 29, 2021, French Gates and Scott announced the winners: Four initiatives will each receive US$10 million, and two more will get $4 million apiece. In addition to the women formerly married to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies is providing some of these funds.

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Evan Agostini/Invision via AP

It marks the first official donor collaboration between French Gates and Scott. The money will help boost support for caregivers, get more women and girls to embark on technology careers, support entrepreneurship among Indigenous women, counter intimate-partner violence and train more women to become political leaders.

As experts in women’s giving and giving to women’s and girls’ causes at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, we believe that this new partnership is significant for three reasons.

1. There is a worldwide effort to increase gender equity

Both donors have previously made causes tied to women and girls a priority in their giving. For example, they signed on as the initial contributors to a Gender Fund, announced on June 28, 2021, that aims to raise $1 billion over the next decade to support organizations, mostly led by women, that operate in low-income countries.

This is, to be clear, an international effort that also includes foreign aid.

A United Nations conference held in Paris in June 2021 drew pledges from countries, individuals and

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This story was published at TheConversation/us - kw:women and provided for your interest.


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