Back in 1997, Ted Turner gave a gift of $1 billion to create the UN Foundation. At the time, he also advocated banning men from public office.

“Men should be barred from public office for 100 years in every part of the world,” he declared. “The men have had millions of years where we’ve been running things. We’ve screwed it up hopelessly. Let’s give it to the women.”

We don’t have 100 years to have equality given to us. Equality can’t wait!

I want to see more women making decisions, controlling resources, & shaping policies. That’s why I’m committing $1B over the next 10 years to expanding women’s power & influence in the U.S. #EqualityCantWait, & no one in a position to act should either. https://t.co/Rh6SkRH0ma

So wrote Melinda Gates in TIME last week, sharing that her own decision to commit $1 billion—to women’s rights—was based on a mixture of outrage, optimism and impatience. She’s outraged that in 2018, “there were more men named James running Fortune 500 companies than there were women. This year, only one CEO on that list of 500 is a woman of color. Women are 51 percent of the population but hold only 24 percent of the seats in Congress.” And she’s optimistic that this is the right moment for rapid change—because of the groundswell of the women’s marches, the #MeToo movement and the record number of women running for office around the country in 2018 and 2020.

[…]