Gender Equality

Gender equality is not a side issue. It is at the core of a stronger response, recovery, and a more resilient future.
Inevitably, some people will argue that we should table conversations about gender equality until we get through this emergency. But the disease and its effects are not gender neutral. Our response cannot be either.
Melinda Gates

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Gender inequality isn’t a problem we can ignore, even in a pandemic—or rather, especially in a pandemic.

Consider the fallout so far: Government-ordered lockdowns have shown rapid increases in domestic violence. Disruptions to the global supply chain have limited the supply of contraceptives in low-income countries. Schools are closed and girls’ education lags. And women are nearly twice as likely to lose their jobs than men in the pandemic economy. When COVID-19 cut clothing demand in New York, seamstresses in Ethiopia face hunger.

With thoughtful attention and deliberate action, we can change this. We can build a more resilient future.

We can’t wait for gender equality to magically happen. In the 21st century, there’s still no place on earth that treats women and men equally.

There’s opportunity—right now—to rebuild a stronger, more resilient, more prosperous world, one that sidelines systemic inequality.

Because equal is greater.

We can build a more equal future for women and girls

a woman with a mask over her face reading L'Hopital public, c'est vital

The Pandemic's Toll on Women

Read Melinda Gates' article in Foreign Affairs on the pandemic's toll on women, why it matters, and what policymakers can do to build a more equal and prosperous future.
By Melinda Gates Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Photo by Martin Barzilai / HAYTHAM-REA / Redux

Gender illustration

Embedding the “streetlight moments” in our mission

CEO Mark Suzman reflects on the importance of applying a gender lens to every issue and solution in global health and development.
By Mark Suzman CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Gif Data Stats

Sexist and incomplete data hold back the world’s COVID-19 response

More gender disaggregated data is needed to fully understand COVID-19's impacts. Melinda Gates shares four actions governments must take to overcome this gap.
By Melinda Gates Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
GIF highlight COVID-19 data

During COVID-19, women’s health care must be an essential service: A conversation with three experts

Three experts on women's health care in low- and middle-income countries discuss maintaining services during the pandemic.
By Lester Coutinho, Jeffrey Smith, and Violaine Mitchell

Discover more

Explore additional gender equality content