Melinda Gates‘ new campaign, Equality Can’t Wait, hopes to help shorten the timeline for the United States to achieve gender equality.
After reading the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Gender Gap Report — which found that at the current pace, it will take another 208 years to close the gender gap in the U.S. — Gates, 54, set her sights on speeding things up.
The campaign on Tuesday launched a video series directed by Natasha Lyonne, 40, to promote the idea that waiting for equality is “No Joke.” The video features popular comedians — including Maya Rudolph, Sarah Silverman, Carol Burnett, Ilana Glazer and John Mulaney — cracking jokes before getting real.
“Do you love bad news? Then you’re going to love my friend, Melinda Gates,” Rudolph begins the clip.
Then Gates shares the unsettling number of years it will take to achieve gender equality.
“That’s 1,456 dog years,” says Orange Is the New Black‘s Uzo Aduba, 38. “I’m telling you, bitches never get a break.”
The clip continues with the comedians sharing their shocked reactions to the figure while urging people to share their stories and take action to fix the issue in our lifetime.
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“Here’s a fun fact: In the Fortune 500, there are fewer female CEOs than male CEOs named James,” says Broad City‘s Glazer, 32.
Adds her costar Abbi Jacobson, 35, “We demand Arias and Andromedas in the boardroom. Shannons! Dianes!”
Then the tone turns more serious, with Rudolph, 47, saying, “You guys know I have three daughters, right? This is actually terrifying.”
“It’s scary — 208 years is scary. I want to live then,” adds Glazer.
The campaign’s website gives additional information about how to get involved and accelerate the process, including using the hashtag #EqualityCantWait to share why the U.S. needs change now.