Melinda French Gates, philanthropist and ex-wife of Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has pointed the finger of blame at white males for what she perceives to be political inadequacies in Washington, particularly the inability of the government to create a sufficient social security net for Americans.
In an interview that was released last week by Fortune magazine, French Gates was asked about the number of males in positions of power on Capitol Hill in the United States. She said, “You must be frank: There are simply too many men with places of power already on Parliament Hill in the U. S..” She went on to say that putting more women and people of colour in political office will help to remedy the situation. We are the sole industrialised nation that does not have a comprehensive paid family and medical leave policy, which is something that absolutely should not be the case.
The fact that there have been significant recent advances in the number of women and persons of colour sitting in Congress is not relevant to French Gates’ statements.
According to numbers gathered by the Congressional Research Service, women currently control 28% of seats in the United States House of Representatives and Senate, and the present Government is the most ethnically diverse in the history of the United States. More than 27 per cent of seats are now held by people of colour.
According to an interview that French Gates gave to Fortune, she said that “a lot of the time, we believe we’re going to be able to achieve equality of the sexes, that we may shift the needle just a little bit.” When our numbers go up by one or two percentage points, we congratulate ourselves and tell ourselves, “Okay, we’re on the way to empowerment.”
However, according to research that was just released this week by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation it is expected that global gender equality won’t be achieved until at least the year 2108, which is “three generations later than we’d planned.” According to French Gates, one “major challenge” would be that female politician are unable to garner the same amount of campaign funds as their male colleagues.
Seven years after starting work at Microsoft, French Gates tied the knot with her future husband, who at the time was the wealthiest person in the world. In the midst of suspicions of adultery by Bill Gates and disagreements around his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the pair decided to end their marriage and made the announcement a year ago.
French Gates surfaced from the relationship breakdown as a multibillionaire and political activist of her own right. She is supposedly lobbying President Joe Biden’s administration on domestic policy issues such as investments in infrastructure and paid family leave. Gates was previously married to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.