Who Runs the World?

Unlocking the Talent and Inventiveness of Women Everywhere

Non-Fiction - Social Issues
208 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Who Runs the World? by Lois Quam is a social science and medical book in which she covers the pivotal role of women in addressing poverty, environmental protection, and disease prevention through her involvement with the organization Pathfinder. She discusses the importance of universal access to reproductive healthcare for economic growth and women's empowerment, and points toward the challenges faced by Tanzanian women in accessing quality reproductive healthcare, advocating for community-specific solutions and partnerships. Quam praises Pathfinder's leadership in embracing change toward a country-led healthcare approach and its commitment to reproductive justice. Quam discusses initiatives like Saving Mothers, Giving Life, speaking on collaborative efforts in reducing maternal mortality rates. She stresses the importance of family planning during crises, advocating for improved access to fertility care globally. Despite all obstacles, Quam and Pathfinder remain committed to empowering women and championing investments in education, healthcare, and economic opportunities for global progress.

Who Runs the World? by Lois Quam was my introduction to Pathfinder International, a non-profit driving sexual and reproductive health globally, primarily for women and adolescents. Operating across 19+ countries, Pathfinder, which Quam runs, partners with communities and governments, empowers informed decision-making, advocates for reproductive rights, conducts research, and works to strengthen healthcare systems. As a husband, a father, and just a human being who believes that equal access to healthcare globally is a human right, I was heartened by the work and forward-moving progress that Quam details through her professional experience and personal stories. As a man who was raised in a third-world country, the standout for me was when she spoke about strides made in Egypt, particularly in tackling child marriage to prevent lowering the marriage age. I know first-hand how advocating against societal norms is an uphill battle, and can only be fought well through collective action in addressing complex social issues. Quam writes with clarity and accessibility, includes exhaustive research, and is proof that a lot of good is happening in the world, but there's still a long way to go...and this book is an excellent start. Very highly recommended.