Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times argues that the schoolgirls recently taken hostage in Nigeria represented threats to their male dominated society. Indeed educating girls, says Kristof, is the best known way to stabilize societies, prevent civil wars, and create new economic industry. “One study found that for every 1 percentage point increase in the share of the population aged 15 to 24, the risk of civil war increases by 4 percent. That means that curbing birthrates tends to lead to stability, and that’s where educating girls comes in.”
What’s the Big Idea?
To benefit society, girls must be educated and empowered, the latter of which has yet to happen in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. So the international community should double their efforts to encourage female education programs as a way to benefit the girls themselves, create more stable societies, and fight violent extremism. In fact, education is a more effective weapon against extremism than Obama’s military drones. Congress should hold the President accountable for neglecting his 2008 campaign promise to establish a $2 billion global fund for education.