While going through the book “The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates, I realized how blessed I am to be born in a family where my parents believe in the importance of education. Aside from sending me to school, they also encouraged me to embrace the beauty of lifelong learning and to strive to achieve my full potential as an individual.
In the book, Melinda Gates discussed her experiences in different countries where daughters are being given to marriage at a very young age – too young to healthily conceive. The result? Mortality of mothers and children – such a sad reality. That is one of the reasons why this has become a pressing issue to the point that the resolution to this problem has been stipulated in the Millennium Development Goals.
I’ve known about these MDGs because we were asked to memorize it in school. I remember winning a quiz bee on Population Education where these MDGs were included. I won first place during that time. However, if you’ll ask me if I understand the importance of those MDGs, I will honestly answer in the negative. Little did I know that while I was participating in that quiz bee, some girls my age were suffering from domestic violence because they were given to marriage at a very young age and were expected to serve their husband. Little did I know that while I was facing the audience with a smile as I receive my medal, some girls my age are facing female genital mutilation – a tradition that is still being practiced in other countries until this day.
I could continue to talk about the gist of the book. However, I think it will be more interesting if you’ll read each of the stories yourselves. Some of us might fall to the pit of following traditions or adhering to stereotypes because it is easier to go with the flow of the current than to swim against it. I’ve known some people who looked down on working women. I used to accept that stereotype. However, as I mature, I understand that women should have a choice whether they want to finish their education or not. At the same time, women should have a choice if they want to stay at home or work. Some might use the Bible to say that being a working woman is “ungodly”. However, if you would check the description of a virtuous woman as stated in Proverbs 31, we can see a woman who is a good wife, a responsible mother, and a wonderful entrepreneur.
I am grateful that God gave me a family who believes that women are not second class citizen. However, not all families are like that. I am grateful that I live in a country where women can study and earn a degree. Not all women have that opportunity. I hope someday, somehow, I can have the opportunity and the ability to help empower other women and brought about a moment of lift.