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The Moment of Lift
Cover of The Moment of Lift
The Moment of Lift
How Empowering Women Changes the World

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"In her book, Melinda tells the stories of the inspiring people she's met through her work all over the world, digs into the data, and powerfully illustrates issues that need our attention—from child marriage to gender inequity in the workplace." — President Barack Obama

"The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what's possible in the world. Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page."

— Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Dare to Lead

"Melinda Gates has spent many years working with women around the world. This book is an urgent manifesto for an equal society where women are valued and recognized in all spheres of life. Most of all, it is a call for unity, inclusion and connection. We need this message more than ever." — Malala Yousafzai

"Melinda Gates's book is a lesson in listening. A powerful, poignant, and ultimately humble call to arms." — Tara Westover, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Educated

A debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women's empowerment.

"How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity."


For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission 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, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she's learned from the inspiring people she's met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, "That is why I had to write this book—to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live."

Melinda's unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention—from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world—and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"In her book, Melinda tells the stories of the inspiring people she's met through her work all over the world, digs into the data, and powerfully illustrates issues that need our attention—from child marriage to gender inequity in the workplace." — President Barack Obama

"The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what's possible in the world. Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page."

— Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Dare to Lead

"Melinda Gates has spent many years working with women around the world. This book is an urgent manifesto for an equal society where women are valued and recognized in all spheres of life. Most of all, it is a call for unity, inclusion and connection. We need this message more than ever." — Malala Yousafzai

"Melinda Gates's book is a lesson in listening. A powerful, poignant, and ultimately humble call to arms." — Tara Westover, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Educated

A debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women's empowerment.

"How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity."


For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission 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, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she's learned from the inspiring people she's met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, "That is why I had to write this book—to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live."

Melinda's unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention—from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world—and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

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About the Author-
  • Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the world, Melinda Gateshas dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. Core to her work is empowering women and girls to help them realize their full potential. In 2015, Melinda created Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company that enables her to bring together other new and emerging strands of her advocacy and philanthropic work focused in the US. Melinda received a bachelor's degree from Duke and an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School. After joining Microsoft Corp. in 1987, she helped develop many of the company's multimedia products. In 1996, Melinda left Microsoft to focus on her philanthropic work and family.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2018

    Cochair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates here explains why her philanthropy focuses on women, making the connection between women's empowerment and the health of societies. That means promoting family planning, job opportunities, paid family leave, and the equitable division of household labor and booting out gender bias in all its forms. Huge publicity.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 25, 2019
    Philanthropist, mother of three, and wife of one of the world’s richest men, Gates delivers a thoughtful and empathetic treatise that demonstrates how empowering women can change the world and lift families from poverty. Gates’s career as a human rights advocate began with family planning issues, that is, a women’s right to choose when to get pregnant—an unusual stance, she notes, for a longtime practicing Catholic. With each chapter, Gates addresses other thorny issues that hold women down: unreliable maternal and newborn healthcare (“Forty million women a year give birth without assistance”), lack of access to education (both in the U.S. and abroad) and lack of access to contraception, child marriage, sex work, and female genital mutilation. Gates writes movingly of other change makers globally, including investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett (who, with Bill Gates founded the Giving Pledge organization), Pakistani education-activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, and Dutch human rights activist Mabel van Oranje, who fights to end child marriage—and of the pride she feels in instilling these values in her children, who have volunteered in organizations throughout Africa. Part memoir, part call to action, Gates’s compassionate narrative underscores her determination to leave a positive mark on this world. She inspires and emboldens in this eloquently argued work.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 1, 2019
    What does it mean to be a philanthropist? For Gates, it means also becoming an activist, albeit a reluctant one. Faced with the realization that the fundamental rights of women?from health care and reproductive wellness to gender parity, educational opportunities, and economic advancement?were being ignored, curtailed, or purposely ended, Gates knew that she could put her considerable wealth, connections, and privilege to work for those in peril. As cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she did more than just write the checks. She spoke up and spoke out, and she backed her arguments with the facts that came from immersing herself in cultures where she could observe and experience firsthand the changes that empowering women can bring. Gates met with abuse victims in the Philippines and sex-trade workers in India, lived with a Maasai family in Tanzania, and learned about the horrors of child marriage in Ethiopia. Hers is an ecumenical message made personal by the unexpectedly candid revelations she shares about her own life and marriage, motherhood and career. At a time when beneficial globalization is being threatened by nationalism, and women's rights are in danger of being rolled back to nineteenth-century norms, Gates offers urgent reminders of why it's necessary to help women everywhere achieve their full potential.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Publishers Weekly
    "Part memoir, part call to action, Gates's compassionate narrative underscores her determination to leave a positive mark on this world. She inspires and emboldens in this eloquently argued work."
  • Trevor Noah
    "This book is a beautiful and concise mission statement on what we need to do to move society forward--continue to empower women. At every level and in all places women are truly the bedrock supporting their communities."
  • Mellody Hobson
    "Melinda Gates uplifts and inspires by weaving a narrative of fortitude and hope. She pushes us to challenge the status quo and never settle."
  • Richard Rohr
    "The Moment of Lift is a gift to humanity. With concrete stories and examples, Melinda Gates helps us see and embrace the great truths – "The goal is for everyone to be connected. The goal is for everyone to belong. The goal is for everyone to be loved." Melinda's message is so real, so personal, so intelligent, so needed. If only everyone would read it and know it, we would all rise up together!"
  • Paul Farmer, M.D., co-founder of Partners In Health
    "The Moment of Lift is a book about gender equity and its golden thread is empathy. This book lifts up the voices of women and girls whose experiences have been entirely unlike Melinda's own. They've taught her a great deal, and in this beautifully crafted and artful memoir, Melinda Gates invites the reader to learn from them too."
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