Melinda Gates – The world’s most powerful woman representing women and girls

28 January 2016 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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For a smart young woman from Dallas, who went on to work for Microsoft, rising through the ranks successfully and then ended up married to her boss, Melinda Gates truly personifies the modern woman. She was successful at her job before Bill Gates asked her out. When they married, Melinda gave up her job to focus on the children and the family, while also giving her time to manage their philanthropy efforts.

Melinda was able to expand the vision of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from placing computers and Microsoft products in libraries throughout the US to one that encompassed the whole world by supporting global educational, poverty alleviation and health initiatives. Today, their foundation is engaged with multi-pronged efforts in reaching out to communities throughout the world.

Melinda Gates has cemented her dominance in philanthropy and global development to the tune of US $ 3.9 billion in giving in 2014 and – over US $ 33 billion in grant payments since 2000, when the foundation was launched. Testimony to her work is the fact that she has inspired other giant donors, changing the way funders perceive effective philanthropy. 

The specific campaigns of the foundation together with data-driven monitoring and global partnerships have been considered successful. As the woman with her name on the door, Gates is actively involved in the focus of the organisation and analyses the results. From all-encompassing charity, Melinda now remains more focused on championing the causes of women and girls around the world.

On the invitation of Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, a small group of influential women such as Margaret Chan, Director of WHO, Mary Bara, CEO of General Motors, Erna Soldberg, Prime Minister of Norway, former Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Queen Rania of Jordan came together with Melinda Gates. The topic – one of relevance to women everywhere.

Gates struck a common cord with the powerful women present, telling them that when women get into roles of leadership, they made things happen. “It takes us using our voice, and it also takes us making investments, huge investments, in women and girls,” Gates told her audience.

Six out of 10 of the world’s poorest and two thirds of the world’s illiterate are women, according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) data. Women and children also account for a considerable number of refugees heading out of war zones in search of asylum. Abuse of women, sex slavery, trafficking of women and children take place throughout the world while women continue to face abuse in their very own homes. Combine those facts with unwarranted female mortality in the developing world and you have a bleak picture for women of the world.

Add to that, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) statistics confirm that some 3.9 million women and girls go missing every year – around two fifths are never born, one sixth die in early childhood and over one third die during their reproductive years.
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