Ex-wives of billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos team up to give away £30m

Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Scott – the ex-wives of world's richest men Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos – will donate tens of millions of pounds to gender equality charities.

Soon-to-be divorcée Melinda and Bezos' ex MacKenzie announced the striking donation in a joint statement pledging work "on the front lines" to support female equality.

The effort was organised by Gates' investment firm Pivotal Ventures, which runs the Equality Can't Wait Challenge campaign alongside Scott and her new husband Dan Jewett.

What do you think about Melinda and MacKenzie's generous acts? Have your say and see what others think in the comments.

Scott wrote: "The awardees are strong teams working on the front lines and from within communities to help women build power in their lives and careers.

"And best of all, they’re not alone."

Gates added in the joint statement: "The overwhelming response to the challenge proves there’s no shortage of transformational ideas about how to accelerate progress for women and girls.

"We can break the patterns of history and advance gender equality, but we must commit to lifting up organizations, like the ones receiving awards today, that are ready to lift up women and girls."

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Scott made headlines last year when she announced billions of dollars in donations for charitable causes, seemingly challenging her ex-husband to do the same.

In June she gave $2.7bn (£2bn) to hundreds of organisations, pledging another $4.2bn (£3bn) in December 2020.

MacKenzie became the world's richest woman immediately after divorcing husband Jeff, whose wealth has multiplied during the coronavirus pandemic.

Her net worth currently stands at $64bn (£46bn).

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Melinda announced her shock divorce from Bill in May this year.

Rumours have since persisted around Mr Gates's workplace conduct at Microsoft and alleged friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

What's clear is both Melinda and MacKenzie are seeking to get a very different sort of headline with their latest initiative – and are perhaps testing their exes' willingness to do the same.

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