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Statement by Dr. Rajiv J. Shah on The Rockefeller Foundation’s New $30 Million to Gender Equality

In the year and a half since Covid-19 caught fire, the virus has since killed millions of people, infected hundreds of millions more, and reversed decades of progress on poverty, hunger, and gender equity.  The data is staggering: A recent report suggests that in just one year, the cause of women’s parity in the workplace and economy was set back 36 years.

That’s bad news not only for women and girls but for anyone hoping for a full recovery from Covid-19.  We know that humanity makes progress when women and girls advance.  Unfortunately, we’re also seeing that the inverse is true as well: we all suffer when women and girls fall behind.  The good news is we all know how to restart progress: by working together and leveraging the power of science and technology to help women and girls live lives of equity, opportunity, and safety.

That’s why earlier today at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, we announced that The Rockefeller Foundation will commit an additional $30 million to promote gender equity.  These resources will be dedicated to expanding economic and political empowerment for women and girls and participating in Co-Impact’s new “Gender Fund,” which seeks to raise and grant US $1 billion in the Global South over the next decade to accelerate progress for women and girls.

Today’s commitment, which is in addition to last month’s $1 billion joint commitment with the IKEA Foundation to scale end energy poverty, is one more way The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to empower women and girls.  To do so, we look forward to partnering and collaborating with many of the organizations, businesses, international financial institutions, and governments that participated in this year’s forum. Together, we can take the bold and urgent actions needed to empower women and girls, accelerate a more just recovery, and build a better future for all of us.