Sunday, April 17, 2005

BBC NEWS | Europe | Girls 'missing out on schooling'

I think that it can be taken as a given that prima facie education is a natural good. It's good not simply in and of itself but also economically, politically and socially.

While the problems of a lack of access to education (in general as opposed to simply for girls) are complex (see the Copenhagen Consensus and the book Global Problems, Global Solutions for an exhaustive treatment), I would simply like to mention that the BBC article points out that the places were the gender disparity is at its worst at at places where conflict rages e.g. Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I strongly doubt that it is a root cause for the simple reason that such gender disparity are unfortunately rife in Western and Central Africa, which leads to the conclusion that war severely execerbates the underlying societal (and economic) problems that prevent girls (and generally children) from going to school.

At any rate, I think this goes towards showing that the costs of war is even higher than expected (the Taliban being an extreme example of kicking women back to pre-Islamic times). Well here's to hoping that the UN does something more about Sudan soon



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