Why Equality Can't Wait

Why Equality Can't Wait

The call to action came when I was least expecting it.

Shortly after Bill and I started our foundation, I began spending time in some of the world’s poorest places. Before that experience, I had never really imagined myself as an advocate for gender equality. But as I wrote my book, The Moment of Lift, everything changed when I started sitting down with women and hearing about all the barriers that stood in their way. The women I met called me to action—and they helped me understand why equality can’t wait.

The data is clear that empowered women transform societies. Yet there is nowhere on earth where women have achieved true equality, even here at home. In 2019, the World Economic Forum projected that equality in the United States is still another 208 years away.

208 years is a daunting number—but it’s not destiny. The projection is based on the assumption that the pace of change will remain constant. That’s why we need to act now to accelerate progress for women in the U.S. and ensure that we see gender equality in our lifetimes.

The good news is that the fight for equality in the U.S. is at a tipping point. Now, more than ever, we have the knowledge, the energy, and the moral insight to crack the patterns of history. Now, more than ever, we know what we need to do to stand up for equality in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.

Equality can’t wait—and we can’t wait to act, either. Will you join me?
Melinda Gates Signature
- Melinda French Gates