Melinda Gates:  7 Reasons Investing in Women is ‘The Best Idea in the World’

There’s nothing more beautiful than women empowering women.  And, according to Forbes, there’s no better role model than Melinda Gates.  Not only does she talk a good talk, she can back it up; she’s donated more money towards female empowerment than anyone else on the planet.  The primary focus of her $41.3 billion endowment is women and girls (‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ 2013 annual report).  The emboldened words beneath Melinda’s headshot on the Forbes’ 2015 Special Philanthropy Issue (published on December 14, 2015) says it all:  “The Best Idea in the World:  The solution to poverty is investing in women and Girls.  Melinda Gates is betting billions on it.”  Melinda Gates has had some amazing quotable moments when speaking on what it takes to achieve global gender equality.  Here are seven:

“All women, everywhere, have the same hopes: we want to be
self-sufficient and create better lives for ourselves and our loved ones.”
– Melinda Gates

A woman can do anything a man can do, whether it’s leading a company, directing a boardroom, or becoming a scientist or astronaut.  If you want to enter a S.T.E.M. career, go for it!  Do you want to start a company? If so, then do it!  Lead an independent life, get a great education and pave your own path to success.    

“When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who
invest in everyone else.”
– Melinda Gates

When you help women, families and communities are also positively affected – “all the way upstream to the global economy,” according to Melinda Gates/Forbes.  Many women are natural-born caregivers.  They look after themselves, in addition to everyone else in their lives.  An investment in women and girls brings a bountiful return, as they spread the love to everyone around them.

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.  But the search to find
that voice can be remarkably difficult.”
– Melinda Gates

From poverty to privilege, according to Melinda, there are not enough women speaking up.  Women in every sector of life need to find their voice and tell the world what’s important to them.  The true definition of strength is the ability to speak what is important to you, even if no one gets it.  When this happens, don’t be discouraged.  It just means you’re ahead of the curve!      

“Women and girls should be able to determine their own future, no
matter where they’re born.”
– Melinda Gates

Women having full access to contraception, no matter where they live in the world, is a top concern for Melinda.  Women don’t need to be told what to do; they need education so they can make their own informed choices.  Women everywhere want to make the best choices for their lives and families, whether it’s waiting to have a second child or not having children at all.

“Connect deeply with others.  Our humanity is the one thing that
we all have in common.”
– Melinda Gates

“If you see people with so little hope, it breaks your heart.  But, if you want to do the most, you have to go see the worst,” stated Melinda Gates, in reference to her many humanitarian trips (123rd Stanford University Commencement Address, June 15, 2014).  Having empathy, caring “with” others is so important.  Don’t allow labels, disease or anything else keep you from hearing the stories of women and deeply “feeling” their trials.

“When girls are educated and free to pursue their passions, they contribute
more to a thriving society.”
– Melinda Gates

Education allows a woman to become impassioned and equipped to fulfill her goals.  Once education is placed in the hands of a woman, she can make the best choices for herself and her family, in regards to career, health and/or life.  When a woman is healthy and confident, she is more able to transfer those attributes to her children, community, nation and world.

“Women speaking up for themselves and for those around them is the
strongest force we have to change the world.”
– Melinda Gates  

A society can’t thrive if half its members are silent.  The perspective of a woman needs to be heard, loud and clear.  A woman is the best advocate for other women.  Her voice gives a balanced perspective on what needs to be changed in the world and ignites change.