The pledge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation came on the first day of the UN Women Generation Equality Forum in Paris.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $2.1bn over the next five years to help advance gender equality worldwide, announcing this commitment during the UN Women Generation Equality Forum in Paris.

During the forum’s opening event Wednesday, $40bn in new investments benefitting women and girls were announced, including the $2.1bn commitment from the Gates Foundation, $420m from the Ford Foundation and investment from the World Bank for gender equality programmes in 12 African nations, forum organisers said in a press release.