Malala: books not bullets

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If we’re ever going to get rid of war, a first step is doing more to reduce the arms race. We do of course need to protect ourselves, so throwing all our weapons away is not a sensible option. But as the inspirational Malala Yousafzai has pointed out this week, a relatively small reduction in military spending would enable a massive increase in educational opportunities for the young people of the world.

She is appealing to world leaders to do more, by diverting at least a part of military spending towards education. The potential benefits are startling:

If the whole world stopped spending money on the military for just 8 days, we could provide 12 years of free, quality education to every child on the planet.”

The potential spin-off benefits from such an outcome are incalculable, but you don’t have to be a feminist to realise that a greater involvement of women in world affairs might also reduce the number of wars in future, if you believe that testosterone, among many complex political, economic and socio-cultural reasons, is perhaps an important factor in conflict at some deep primeval level.

Perhaps that’s one reason that some would deny education to young girls, specifically, and even try to silence those who campaign for it. One of the many remarkable things about Malala is that even after her attempted murder, she says “Do not be afraid.”

You can read the whole article here: Books not bullets

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