Reflections – 20 years of the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Empower the poorest especially women and girls, to transform their lives.

We believe that by giving people the tools to lead healthy, productive lives, we can help them lift themselves out of poverty.

Every year, millions of people find ways to transition out of poverty—by adopting new farming technologies, investing in new business opportunities, or finding new jobs.

We know women and girls have a unique power to reshape societies. When you invest in a woman’s health and empowerment, it has a ripple effect, helping families, communities, and countries achieve long-lasting benefits.

Dili Masukod Ang Langit (The Immeasurable Heaven)

Romson Regarde Bustillo 2020
Mixed media on paper

The word “langit” in my family’s mother tongue Bisaya can mean sky or heaven. This piece is a metaphor for the immeasurable potential in all humans; our role on earth, in the universe, and for each other's well being. We acknowledge the efforts of communities to rise from their circumstances; especially those made by women and girls throughout the world, striving, despite great obstacles, to exercise their potential and contributions.

We Begin Anew

Maya Milton, 2020
Acrylic paint, gold leaf

For this piece, the two women represent different generations, backgrounds, and the global need for empowerment. The book represents the need for education, the baby symbolizes the need for wellness, and the oranges show nutrition to be supported globally. The butterflies symbolize rebirth and transformation.

Whether and When

Holly Ballard Martz, 2020
Laboratory glass (separatory funnel, evaporator flasks, stopcock), pvc tubing, steel, paint

The ability for women to decide whether and when to have children is crucial to their physical and mental health as well as their economic and educational opportunities. The power to decide is empowering.

For Her – For All

Janet Fagan, 2020
Oil, spray paint, marker

Women overcome challenges and hardships by sharing with one another, by lifting each other up and teaching one another best practices. This painting honors the hard work of female smallholder farmers living in poverty and recognizes the connections between them that promote the successes not of one, but of many.

To Whom the Future Belongs

Jite Agbro, 2020
Paper, fabric, ink, beeswax, graphite, and thread

How would communities develop if we were to remove the social and economic barriers facing women and girls?


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