I am a huge fan of Bill and Melinda Gates. I think they are genuinely good people who do an immense amount of good in the world. Plus, Bill Gates’s book recommendations have turned out to be some of my favorite books. I’ve been looking forward to Melinda Gates’s new book, The Moment of Lift for months, and it definitely did not disappoint.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women.
In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. 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 and when to have children, Gates took her first step onto the global stage to make a stand for family planning. That step launched her into further efforts: to ensure women everywhere have access to every kind of job; to encourage men around the globe to share equally in the burdens of household work; to advocate for paid family leave for everyone; to eliminate gender bias in all its forms.
Throughout, Gates introduces us to her heroes in the movement towards equality, offers startling data, shares moving conversations she’s had with women from all over the world—and shows how we can all get involved.
A personal statement of passionate conviction, this book tells of Gates’ journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world’s foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value, and gender equity is the lever that lifts everything.
I think the synopsis is pretty comprehensive, so I’ll keep my review short. I loved this book. I’ve been trying to read more about social issues, and this book has probably made a bigger impact on me than any other book. I know women’s empowerment is an important issue, but I’d never really thought about how the issues that affect the lives of women affect everyone else so deeply. I appreciated this book for making me think about these issues differently. I hope I will be more aware of the effects of these problems, and hopefully be more active in trying to fix them. I don’t have the power or resources to make a big difference, but the small difference I can make is still important.
I think Gates did a great job of addressing many different issues that affect women around the world, such as contraception, child marriage, and unpaid labor. It really affected me to see how the lives of so many women (and their families) are impacted by these unfair practices. And how something so simple, such as effective contraception for women who can’t afford more children, or whose health will be negatively affected by pregnancy, can make a huge difference. If that women has one or two children, she may be able to effectively care for them. She might not be able to do so with six children.
As a woman, this book made me feel sad that so many people live under harmful conditions because of their gender. But it also made me feel lucky that I don’t live in a country in which women routinely get beaten for using condoms or are taken of of school at the age of eight to be married against their will or are responsible for most of the unpaid labor (caring for children, cooking, cleaning) in addition to working on the farm. It really broke my heart to hear these stories, but it also gave me hope to hear about the solutions that are being brought about not only by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, but also by the women directly affected by these problems.
★★★★★ – The Moment of Lift is one of the most important books I’ve ever read. I’m greatly appreciative of Melinda Gates’s work and experience, and so glad she shared these stories. I highly recommend this book.
The Moment of Lift is available to buy wherever books are sold. You can pick up a copy on Amazon or in bookstores.
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose The Moment of Lift as one of your two free books. I listened to the audiobook, read by Melinda Gates, and really enjoyed it!
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