By Michela Tindera | Forbes | 17 May 2016
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $80 million over the next three years to close the "data gap" between genders and advance opportunities for girls and women around the world.
Melinda Gates, who has given away more than $29 billion with her husband Bill in her lifetime, announced this during her keynote speech at the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen on May 17. The donation will focus first on funding the research and reliable data collection process that will pinpoint the scope of economic and social issues affecting women, mostly in developing countries.
"We cannot close the gender gap without first closing the data gap," Gates said in a statement. "We simply don’t know enough about the barriers holding women and girls back, nor do we have sufficient information to track progress against the promises made to women and girls."
Planning to fund efforts that will determine how much time women spend doing unpaid work and how that affects their ability to complete their educations, start their own business or find a job outside the home, the Foundation has not yet disclosed which organizations will receive funding to collect this data.
The gift aims to help attain total gender equality by 2030, one of the United Nations' 17 "sustainable development goals."