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Melinda Gates Leaves Gates Foundation, Pledges $12.5 Billion to Women’s Rights

Daniel Kim Views  

Melinda French Gates, ex-wife of Bill Gates. AFP=Yonhap News

Melinda French Gates, the ex-wife of Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates and co-chair of the world’s largest charitable foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has announced her decision to leave the foundation to pursue independent charitable endeavors.

Ms French Gates stated in a release through X (formerly Twitter) on the 13th (local time), “After careful consideration, I have decided to step down as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

She explained, “This is a critical moment for women and girls in the U.S. and worldwide, and those fighting to protect and advance gender equality need urgent support. As per the agreement with Bill, leaving the foundation allows me to devote an additional $12.5 billion to activities for women and families.”

In May 2021, at the time of their divorce, they agreed that if Ms French Gates left the foundation, she would receive additional funding from Bill Gates for separate charitable work. She announced leaving the foundation and pursuing separate charitable work three years after their divorce.

They were married in 1994 and jointly established the world’s largest private charitable foundation, the foundation, in 2000. The foundation’s budget for this year is $8.6 billion. The foundation has focused on global poverty eradication and health improvement activities, including efforts to eradicate malaria in Africa and extensive investments in India and South Asia.

In a separate statement, Bill Gates said, “Melinda, as a co-founder and co-chair, played a crucial role in shaping the foundation’s strategy and momentum. While I’m sad to see her leave, I’m confident she will profoundly impact her future charitable work.”

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bill Gates is the fifth richest person with $152.6 billion. Ms French Gates has a fortune of $13.3 billion.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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