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Melinda Gates speaks onstage. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for THR)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
3:10 PM – Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Melinda French Gates announced that she will be donating $1 billion to support women and families over the next two years, including programs that uplift “women’s reproductive rights.”


On Tuesday, the philanthropist and ex-wife of controversial businessman Bill Gates announced her plan to make the donations after she stepped down as co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Ms. Gates previously claimed that a significant factor in her divorce was her ex-husband’s connection to pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. She will receive $12.5 billion as part of their divorce settlement.

“He was abhorrent. He was evil personified,” she said in an interview with CBS.

In her New York Times op-ed, Ms. Gates expressed that she is committed to advocate for women’s rights.  

“While I have long focused on improving contraceptive access overseas, in the post-Dobbs era, I now feel compelled to support reproductive rights here at home,” French Gates said in her op-ed. “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. I want to help even the match.”

The new grants will be going “to groups working in the United States to protect the rights of women and advance their power and influence. These include the National Women’s Law Center, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.”

“As a young woman, I could never have imagined that one day I would be part of an effort like this,” Ms. Gates said. “Because I have been given this extraordinary opportunity, I am determined to do everything I can to seize it and to set an agenda that helps other women and girls set theirs, too.”

She also added that she had been motivated to donate due to the “racial gap in mortality rates” for women.

“In the United States, maternal mortality rates continue to be unconscionable, with Black and Native American mothers at highest risk. Women in 14 states have lost the right to terminate a pregnancy under almost any circumstances. We remain the only advanced economy without any form of national paid family leave. And the number of teenage girls experiencing suicidal thoughts and persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness is at a decade high.”

“Despite the pressing need, only about 2 percent of charitable giving in the United States goes to organizations focused on women and girls, and only about half a percentage point goes to organizations focused on women of color specifically. When we allow this cause to go so chronically underfunded, we all pay the cost,” Ms. Gates said. “As shocking as it is to contemplate, my 1-year-old granddaughter may grow up with fewer rights than I had.”

Through her organization, Pivotal Ventures, the donations will be made.

$200 million to existing U.S. nonprofits supporting women and girls: Center for Reproductive Rights, Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity, Collective Future Fund, Community Change, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, MomsRising Education Fund, Ms. Foundation for Women, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Law Center, New America, The 19th, Roosevelt Institute, States United Democracy Center, Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, and Washington Center for Equitable Growth….

$240 million, in $20 million grants to each of these global leaders: Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, founder of The AAKOMA Project; Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix; filmmaker Ava DuVernay; Crystal Echo Hawk, founder of IllumiNative; Gary Barker, founder of Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice; Hauwa Ojeifo, founder of She Writes Woman; former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee; M. V. Lee Badgett, founding partner of Koppa: The LGBTI+ Economic Power Lab; Richard V. Reeves, founding president of the American Institute for Boys and Men; Sabrina Habib, co-founder and CEO of Kidogo; and Shabana Basij-Rasikh, co-founder of the School of Leadership Afghanistan….

$250 million to be awarded to organizations working to improve women’s mental and physical health worldwide, selected through an open call with Lever for Change this fall,” according to group Pivotal Ventures, which was reported by AP News.

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