【明報專訊】The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World
By Melinda Gates
Bluebird; 288 pages
Melinda worked in Microsoft, dated Bill Gates in the 1980s and got married a few years after. The couple co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
MELINDA and Bill Gates have been at the forefront (最前沿) of global philanthropy in recent years, leading the largest private foundation in the world, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the vision "Every life has equal value". Through her work, Melinda Gates has come to the realisation that the key to improving society, and the lives of its people, is to focus on women.
Melinda has seen that sustained generational lift can be achieved through improving the lives of mothers — through education, job opportunities and family planning — which has a knock-on effect (連鎖反應) on the next generation, and the next after. By tackling the problem at its roots — the vicious cycle of lack of education, size of the family, and insufficient decent work opportunities — a virtuous circle of improved family life and prospects is created, which benefits the whole of society, from parents to their children.
"Self-help books" are a genre frequented by successful females. For example, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's Option B (2017) and UPenn psychology professor Angela Duckworth's Grit illuminate how people could overcome obstacles they face. This time it is Melinda's passion project in which she shares her journey toward enlightenment, and her understanding of the benefits of female empowerment and gender equality, which can solve some of the world's most deep-seated (根深柢固的) problems. When she realised that no person or organisation was taking the lead in global gender equality, she decided to take a stand herself. But far from being just an idea, the proposals are supported by hard data, the stories of women that she has met, and suggestions that we can all embrace in our daily lives to contribute to improving society — for ourselves and generations to come.
■By Kelly and Walsh