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Melinda French Gates Announces $20 Million to Promote Educational Equality for Boys and Men, Part of Growing Global Movement

June 5, 2024 – Melinda French Gates has announced a $20 million grant through her new foundation, Pivotal, to address the educational disparity facing boys and men as part of her commitment to gender equality.  (1) This is part of a growing global recognition that efforts towards gender equality must address the various disadvantages facing males.

While most of the funds announced by Gates were directed toward female empowerment, a $20 million grant was awarded to Richard Reeves, founding president of The Institute for Boys and Men.  (2)

The educational underachievement of boys and men in particular has gained attention worldwide as a critical issue impacting gender equality:

  • The World Bank issued a report documenting how boys are more likely than girls to experience learning poverty and lower education completion rates in almost every country. (3)
  • In the UK, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Issues Affecting Men & Boys has published a report identifying chronic underachievement of boys in education and calls for measures to ensure accountability. (4)
  • Norway’s ground-breaking Men’s Equality Commission recently published a report that examined gender disparities facing men and recommended initiatives like recruiting more male teachers. (5)

Gates’s leadership demonstrates that women’s empowerment can coexist while acknowledging and addressing the challenges encountered by boys and men.  Her investment accelerates the growing global movement to make “gender equality” a concept that is inclusive of both sexes.

The International Council for Men and Boys has identified 12 areas of significant disadvantages for males, including education, health, workplace issues, and lack of reproductive rights. (6) The Council urges governments and policymakers worldwide to establish commissions and initiatives to systematically study and address these male inequalities.


The International Council for Men and Boys is working to end the sex disparities affecting males around the world. It maintains that promoting gender equality is a win-win situation: enhancing the rights of one gender does not diminish the advancements of the other. For more information, visit


  4. APPG Report – Closing the Gender Attainment Gap.pdf (