Review | The Moment of Lift

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates


I’ve known for years that Melinda Gates is an inspiring philanthropist who has worked mostly behind the scenes. This book brings her into the spotlight and focuses on her investment in women across the globe; giving them access to contraceptives and education while lifting their voices to create equality and opportunities to advance their lives.

Gates strongly believes in a woman’s choice to decide whether and when to have children and even speaks candidly about her own use of contraception to space out the growth of her family.  As a devoted Catholic, she has received major backlash from the church for her contraception advocacy.

The book covers many heated topics surrounding women’s rights around the world and discusses brutal topics like female genital mutilation, sex work, and child marriage with the powerful stories of women Gates met in her travels to educate herself on the issues.

Gates doesn’t sit in a room and look at the numbers and statistics and throw money at them; she travels to locations around the world to listen to the stories and find out what these women need to flourish.

The word “abortion” has triggered so many strong reactions, especially in recent weeks, and I loved that this book does not at any point debate abortion but instead focuses on the issues that directly effect the debate, especially access to contraceptives, medical facilities, and education.  Gates offers compelling stories, statistics, and evidence that a woman’s ability to make choices, especially those that directly effect her body and her family dynamic, impact everyone in positive ways.

Gates has a strong voice and she is using it to break down barriers and change the conversation to focus on the real issues.  I appreciate her compassion and determination to change lives.
While there are some statistics listed throughout to drive home a point, this book primarily focuses on the personal stories of women in several countries and offers rational insight into the cause and effects of the topics discussed.

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World is a thoughtful and engaging look at Gates’s work to promote equality with a few candid stories to share her own growth.  The message here is powerful and presented in an uplifting way.