Synopsis: Melinda Gates tells the story of how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation evolved and different ways in which empowering and helping women changes the world for the better.
My goal this year was to read more nonfiction, so when I saw this book on sale, I figured why not. I did not expect to learn so much!
I have to say, I was pretty skeptical at first. How much could a rich white woman have to say about empowering women, especially those of color or in poverty? I wasn’t expecting her to be so open-minded or ready to listen and learn.
Most of this book is stories of other women that Melinda heard or experienced parts of. She spends a lot of time talking about regions of Africa and Asia, but she never really generalizes. I know in America, it is kind of ingrained in society to think that one part of Africa is the same as any other part, but Melinda does an excellent job of not generalizing. She also usually calls anyone telling her their story her teacher, because we all have a lot of to learn from people with experiences different than our own. I particularly loved this because it shows how much she really is willing to listen and learn.
I like that a lot of the aid she gives is based on what other women have told her and asked her for. She doesn’t just throw money at them, she listens and works with them to help them in the way that they need.
This book is divided into chapters on different ways women are held back, including contraception, school, child marriage, and equality in the workplace. I learned a lot of facts from this book, especially about contraception, but I also began to understand how much of an effect things like contraception have on keeping women below men.
I just really enjoyed this book! It definitely doesn’t do a super deep dive into any of the topics it discusses, but for someone who knew almost nothing like me, it is a good place to start. I appreciate that Melinda wrote this book and is donating all the money it makes to charity.