Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Education First" - Malala Yousafzai

"Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for advocating education for girls, marked her 16th birthday with an impressive speech at the United Nations, where she said education could change the world."

"Such a speech by someone so young, not speaking in her native tongue is itself unprecedented at the UN."
Here are 2 short clips, one from The Telegraph:

Another from Al Jazeera, with some commentary:

The pink head scarf she's wearing belonged to Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's first female Prime Minister, who was murdered in 2007 while leaving a campaign rally.


Bix said...

That right there is how you combat hunger and malnutrition - education, not Roundup Ready soybeans.

Angela and Melinda said...

I heard this on NPR--this woman speaks for all women everywhere, in this horrible time of an escalating war on women. Her speech brought tears to my eyes.

Bix said...

She has some outstanding public speaking skills, and so young. I'll bet this won't be the last we'll hear from her.

Ben P. DaSalt said...

Bix said,
“That right there is how you combat hunger and malnutrition - education, not Roundup Ready soybeans.”

Alright, I’ll bite, even though you seem to be trolling your own post worse than Anonymous did a few days ago. Genetic engineering is a less direct association here than there was in context to glyphosate, but off we go.

Okay, for the sake of agreement, RoundUp Ready soybeans are worthless to emerging countries. Moving on.

What about Golden Rice? It’s not made my Monsanto, so we don’t need to discuss that boogeyman. There’s no glyphosate involved. No superweeds. No built in toxins killing off beneficial insects (well, no more than usual) or allegedly punching holes in our guts. Farmers can keep seeds, replant, and don’t have to pay licensing fees if they aren’t big resellers. It’s their choice of how to grow it, organic or conventional.

Education is very important. Crucial. But couldn’t Golden Rice help hundreds of thousands of impoverished and malnourished children attempting to get an education so that they are less prone to going blind or and dying?

Perhaps Golden Rice is just a cunning ruse of biotech industries to engender benevolence from the world and further push their diabolical genetically manufactured abominations. But can we, with our privilege, full bellies, and vast food choices, risk denying those with meager means and far fewer choices any chance of life improvement based upon naturalist ideological purity regarding what “proper” food should or shouldn’t be?

Is Golden Rice the only solution? Are we left with false dichotomies of either education or Golden Rice (or vitamin supplements, or greater variety of fruits and vegetables or economic policies or whatever else might help)?

Of course not.

But can it help? Even a little? Or is genetic crop engineering just some inherent evil to be prohibited no matter the amount of human suffering it may ameliorate?

Bix said...

I had just read an essay by Hugh Grant, the CEO of Monsanto, where he said that increased productivity via genetic engineering was the solution to world hunger and malnutrition.

There is enough food in the world to combat hunger and malnutrition. The reason there is not a more equitable distribution of food is political, not technical. Education, women's rights, corruption, and war fall under the heading of political. You don't need genetic engineering to feed people. That's corporate propaganda.

Bix said...


"Social and economic development [of] women and girls is the most inexpensive and effective tool in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, says a new study on gender and food security in the Asia Pacific region.

Women’s education alone resulted in a 43% reduction in hunger from 1970 to 1995, while women living longer led to an additional 12 percent decline in hunger levels, according to the report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Gender equality is “the single most important determinant of food security”, wrote Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report, Gender Equality and Food Security: Women’s Empowerment as a Tool against Hunger, released this week."