How empowering women changes the world!
A timely call to action for women’s empowerment by the influential co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation identifies the link between women’s equality and societal health, sharing uplifting insights by international advocates in the fight against gender bias.
After years of travel, humanitarian work and extensive research, Melinda introduces us to the women she’s met along the way. Their stories are brutally honest, gut-wrenching, inspiring and triumphant. They show us how, time and time again, empowered women rise up and bring their families and communities with them.
This book is, ultimately, about Melinda’s inspirations, starting with her own mother, and all those she’s encountered on her life’s journey. She was who pushed the Gates Foundation to focus more on the empowerment of women. This has been her mission for the past twenty years. Melinda has seen first-hand how the empowering of women is changing communities. Especially now, when women’s rights are under attack, we need to see the bigger picture of what is being done and how it is bringing positive changes to communities across the globe.
She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to “turbo-charge” change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference.
Convinced that all women should be free to decide whether to have children, Gates took the first step onto the world stage to make a stand for family planning. She also advocates for women to have access to every kind of job and encourages men around the globe to share equally in the burdens of managing a household and to eliminate gender bias in all its forms.
What we come away with is: When we lift up women and girls everywhere, it benefits us all. While the Gates Foundation worked on vaccinations for polio and maternal healthcare, the focus on family planning initiatives showed them that when women were in charge of their reproductive health they could space out pregnancies and control the number of children they had, resulting in healthier children and families. “It took us years to learn that contraceptives are the greatest life-saving, poverty-ending, women-empowering innovation ever created,” she writes.
“As women gain rights, families flourish, and so do societies,” she writes. “That connection is built on a simple truth: Whenever you include a group that’s been excluded, you benefit everyone. And when you’re working globally to include women and girls, who are half of every population, you’re working to benefit all members of every community. Gender equity lifts everyone.”
The “moment of lift” is a primer for where we are at today and what everybody can contribute to make our world better for all. Every story of women bringing positive changes to their communities inspires the next young girl with dreams of her own. In your corner of this planet, look for those young people doing amazing things. They see a need and find solutions; each and every good deed builds upon the next.