A group of female scientists are leading breakthrough research in Africa by running a system to pick up diseases The Senegalese woman started a business that recycles tires found on the street into synthetic turf. Or the female co-owner of a group that helps women run informal daycares to make them more accessible to low income families.

In an interview with Fortune, French Gates says that her shining beacon of light is the stories of these women.

She says that seeing women achieve their dreams keeps her hopeful. It helps me know we can move forward.

It's necessary to have such optimism. In 2015, the UN General Assembly set a goal to achieve gender equality by the year 2030. The world is not close to achieving it.

The world has made progress toward achieving the goals of the UN, according to the Goalkeepers Report released today by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the Foundation, gender equality won't be feasible until 2108 at the earliest, three generations later than they thought.

French Gates wrote in the report that gender equality is out of reach. Development experts knew the world wasn't on track to reach the goal by the time they put it into writing, but progress has stopped because of the Pandemic

French Gates says that it took an "incalculable toll" on women's health and livelihoods, as well as pushing them out of the formal sector and losing their jobs in the informal sector. The labor force participation rate for men and women is different. There is a 25% gap between the two.

French Gates thinks that the epidemic is a ruse. She writes that the problem is that the world hasn't focused enough on gender equality.

According to the World Bank, the difference in lifetime earnings between men and women was $172.3 trillion before the Pandemic.

Gates says that we're missing the mark when it comes to closing the gap because we focus on empowering women instead of women gaining power. The three key areas of women's power are important to establish first.

Education, contraceptives, and money

Women's inequality begins during childhood. More than 100 million girls are out of school and only a small percentage of countries achieve gender equality in primary education.

French Gates wants young girls to be educated. It's possible with your education.

To live your dreams, she says, women need to have access to contraceptives.

Projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a research center at the University of Washington and a Gates Foundation partner, show that 77.9% of women will have their family planning needs met with modern methods by the year 2030. That is less than the 78.4% of women who fell into that cohort in 2021.

Money is one of the three key keys. French Gates says that when women have economic means in their own hands, it opens all kinds of things for them.

She has placed a lot of importance on helping women access digital bank accounts in countries where their access to new technology is often far and few between. She says that it's a tool we didn't have 15 years ago.

Saving $1 or $2 a day in a digital bank account is enough to give women power, she says. Women all over the world tell French Gates that having these economic opportunities changed their perception of them.

French Gates says money is a big tool for women. She says that women can't often get there if they don't have a lot of children.

French Gates believes that progress can be made for gender equality and the other 16SDGs considering the progress the world has made in the past. The wars in Ukraine and the U.S. have set the world back.

Millions of people don't go hungry or live a healthy life because they don't have their full potential. The world needs to invest now. We will get back on track and have a lot of catching up to do.