Evoke by Melinda Gates

Ok I just realised that Melinda Gates has a blog too and I just subscribed to it. She presented the blog as a community to share stories of all the women she met from her walks of life such as Africa and South Asia, and not to mention her own stories too.

Her idea of women empowerment is as follows:

Empowered women are drivers of progress, creators of wealth, and the world’s greatest force for transforming societies.

In her post about “I wouldn’t be where I am today without contraceptives”, she mentioned that there are about 225m women in the world who do not want to get pregnant but they do not have access to contraceptives nor they know that thing even exists. She also mentioned that “when women space the births of their children by at least three years, their babies are twice as likely to survive their first year of life—and 35% more likely to live to see their fifth birthday”.

I guess family planning is key and I have always believed in that. My husband and I practised family planning too. We chose to because we just wanted to travel freely, enjoy the company of just the 2 of us, for 2 and a half years until we decided that it’s time. Our first son came into our lives 2 months before our 3rd wedding anniversary, the best gift ever and we never wanted to turn back time.

But I think family planning is more prominent for families who are living in poverty and that’s what Melinda is trying to advocate. Sometimes the babies don’t survive long enough because the mothers just couldn’t afford to feed them. Some of them don’t even know how to breastfeed. Is this for real? What century are they living in? Let’s not talk about the parents who don’t have enough money to send the kids to schools. If you can’t even take care of yourselves, how are you going to take care of your own kids?

Here’s an excerpt of her post which I thought is interesting:

What’s more, contraceptives are often a key determining factor in whether a woman is able to lift her family out of poverty. Research shows that women with access to family planning tools not only tend to have fewer children, they also tend to have higher individual and household incomes. Their kids spend more time in school, increasing the economic potential of the next generation, too.

What I See: 6 illustrators on what it means to lift up others is also another interesting post and timely too since today is my best friend’s birthday. One of the women she interviewed, Aya Tashir who is an illustrator and comic artist, said this:

I chose this work because a strong, empowering female friendship can lift you up so much. It can lift you up to accomplish more professionally and creatively, and it can help you overcome difficulties and crises.

It totally reminds me of 3 of my closest women friends now whom we share a lot of stories, goals, inspirations and we continue to lift each other up. One whom I basically share all my dark and ugly moments for almost 15 years but what I appreciate most is her honesty and loyalty whereby she always nags at me and put things into perspectives especially on family-related issues. Another one whom I always talk about my personal side of goals had I not have a full-time work and we both share somewhat the same goals or rather dreams, she’s also one of my main avid readers and the one who pushes me to continue with this blog. The other one whom I thought what connects us most is when we talk about career women especially in corporate life, how do we climb up the corporate ladder, how do we maintain a healthy lifestyle. 3 different friendships that are unique on its own.

Anyway, I’m so glad I stumbled upon Melinda Gates’ blog. Going to do some more reading before I get ready to work.

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