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Why Education Matters

The kidnapping of over 300 teenage girls at Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria has captivated attention and headlines across the world, inspiring outrage, compassion, and calls to action.  The girls were taken by Boko Haram, whose very name declares that education is sinful.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the girls, their families and those working to bring them home safely.

These devastating acts reflect a much larger problem – girls are being targeted and threatened with violence, kidnapping and more just for seeking an education.

That’s why the global community must stay committed to helping protect and promote girls’ education around the world so that every girl has the opportunity to live up to her full potential.

The numbers tell a hopeful story about progress in girls’ access to education over the past two decades.   Here are some important facts and statistics about girls’ education in Nigeria and across the globe, and why protecting schools like Chibok is vital to girls, women, and the world.

FACTS: Why Education Matters

  1. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2013 shows that where the gender gap is closest to being closed in a range of areas—including access to education, health survivability, economic participation, and political participation—countries and economies are more competitive and prosperous.
  2. Half of the reductions of child mortality between 1970 and 1990 can be attributed to increased education for women of reproductive age.*
  3. A 2011 World Bank report found that investing in girls’ education and opportunities in Nigeria and 13 other developing nations could increase a country’s gross domestic product by 1.2% in a single year.
  4. A 2002 study on the effect of education on average wages estimates that primary school education increases girls’ earnings by 5 to 15 % over their lifetimes.

FACTS: The Gaps that Remain 

  1. Girls and women continue to make up the largest share of the world’s illiterate population (61.3%), and literacy rates in Nigeria hover around 50 to 60%.
  2. Gender gaps are especially wide in places like Sub-Saharan Africa, where 40.1 % of girls and 33.1 % of boys are not enrolled in secondary schools like Chibok. This translates into 11.8 million girls in the region not accessing the education they need to attend university, find work, achieve financial independence, and contribute to a growing economy.**
  3. Girls also face early marriage as barrier to education, and should the girls from Chibok be sold into slavery or forced marriages, their chances of achieving their dreams will be all but dashed. In a study conducted in Kenya, researchers found that a marriage partner is associated with a 78 % increased risk of termination of secondary schooling.
  4. Globally, there are 37.4 million girls not enrolled in lower secondary school compared to 34.2 million boys, a gap of 3.2 million.***

​ It’s an unfortunate reality that it takes an act of courage to seek an education in places like Nigeria. But the girls at Chibok, despite the threats, pursued an education because they and their families understood just how valuable it is. Their resolve will set an example for generations to come and exemplifies the importance of working for the advancement of girls and women across the world so that every girl has a chance to go to school, fulfill her dreams, and break the ceilings and barriers she encounters.

This Mother’s Day, let’s remember the mothers who are missing their daughters, in Nigeria and around the world.

* Emmanuela Gakidou et al., “Increased Educational Attainment and Its Effect on Child Mortality in 175 Countries between 1970 and 2009: A Systematic Analysis,” The Lancet 376, no. 9745 (September 2010): 959–74. Although economic growth was also significantly associated with reductions in child mortality, the magnitude of the association was much smaller than that of increased education. 21 regions, approximately 4 million out of the 8 million children whose lives were saved can be attributed to education for women.
** Shelley Clark and Rohini Mathur, “Dating, Sex, and Schooling in Urban Kenya,” Studies in Family Planning 43, no. 3 (September 2012): 161–74.
*** UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Global Education Digest 2011: Comparing Education Statistics across the World (Montreal, Quebec: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2011).

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Storytelling Builds Imagination (Dragons Not Included)

The rhythmic voice of a grandfather telling a story about his childhood, or the varied character voices that a parent uses to tell a made-up story, will linger in a child’s mind for years after the storytelling is finished. This is because stories—real or fiction—spark the imagination of the child listening to them, and encourage that child to listen not just to the words being spoken, but to the emotion and experience of the storyteller.

Research on family storytelling shows that children receive many benefits from the stories their caregivers share with them. Reminiscing with children about the past helps them understand their place in their family history, and teaches them how to empathize with other people’s thoughts and emotions. Hearing and telling stories helps children develop narrative skills, which will serve them well when they begin learning how to read. And there is evidence that storytelling can also help young children build their self-esteem and teach them how to communicate more effectively.

For parents who are not comfortable reading, telling stories is a great way to encourage language development in babies and toddlers. Parents can start by telling personal stories or favorite fairy tales, and can use props around the home to grab the attention of young children. Another great way to encourage a tradition of storytelling is to invite young children to participate in the action; for example, they can roar like a lion, walk like a tortoise, or taste the porridge in the bear’s bowl.

Storytelling is a great way to build a closer relationship with a child, and it doesn’t require much in the way of materials. As children grow up hearing their loved ones’ best stories, they are also preparing to one day tell stories of their own.

Read More:

In The News:

Video

Storyteller Anne E. Stewart describes why stories are important to young children, and how parents can tell great stories to their children (no experience needed!). >>

In time for Mothers’ Day,  Vogue released its online excerpt from Hillary’s new book, Hard Choices, due for release June 10 from Simon and Schuster.  Here,  Hillary reflects upon her own mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham.

We know this is a very special Mothers’ Day for Hillary since Chelsea received her Ph.D. yesterday from Oxford University.

Happy Mothers’ Day, Mme. Secretary!

Shaping History: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, photographed in her office at the State Department.
Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, December 2009

In an exclusive excerpt from her new memoir, Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton remembers her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham—the struggles she overcame and the lessons she passed along.From the moment I first held Chelsea in my arms in the hospital in Little Rock, I knew my mission in life was to give her every opportunity to thrive. As she’s grown up and stepped out into the world in her own right, my responsibilities have changed. Now that she’s expecting a child of her own, I’m preparing for a new role that I’ve looked forward to for years: grandmother. And I’ve found myself thinking a lot about my relationship with my own mom, as an adult as well as in childhood, and what lessons I learned from her.Read more >>>>

 

You can receive excerpts at the website for the book here >>>>

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. Thank you Anna. Wishing all the mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day, & looking forward to celebrating a new mother soon.

I do not think either of her parents could have been prouder of Chelsea today as she received her earned doctorate in international relations from Oxford University.

Our best compliments to Dr. Clinton and wishing Hillary and all moms here a very Happy Mothers’ Day!

Couldn’t be prouder of today. Congrats on your doctorate.

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Bill and Hillary Clinton in Oxford for their daughter’s graduation

thisisoxfordshire: Bill and Hillary Clinton in Oxford for their daughter's graduation
Bill and Hillary Clinton in Oxford for their daughter’s graduation

BILL and Hillary Clinton are in Oxford this weekend to attend their daughter’s graduation ceremony.

The former US President and former US Secretary of State were seen leaving the Macdonald Randolph Hotel in Beaumont Street.

Their 34-year-old daughter Chelsea is today believed to be receiving a PhD in international relations from Oxford University.

The couple were also spotted on Merton Street and University Parks.

Read more >>>>

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No,  it is not really a course and this is not really an assignment but rather an exercise in reality.  It is ironic, sad, and despicable  that, while reality TV is so popular,  a lot of cable “news” apparently consists of stories woven of fictional tapestries rooted in no reality whatsoever.

Rather than

1.  Wringing hands over another Benghazi hearing where Hillary might not even be called (now according to Trey Gowdy), and where she can manage very well if called, thank you very much,

or

2.   Inventing “hypotheticals”  (i.e. subjunctive fiction)  based on imaginary tales fashioned by Lynn Cheney and Laura Ingraham,

Hillary’s defenders would do well to go here and do what is unquestionably nitpicky tedious work following terrorist designation chronology.

The rationale for this project is that now Hillary Clinton’s State Department is under media scrutiny for not designating Boko Haram a terrorist entity while she was in charge.  Given that she used the “T-Word” about them yesterday, it is reasonable to expect that opponents are going to sniff an opportunity to go on an offensive.

That is likely to be the next battle – not Benghazi and not the froth on the cappuccino created by Lewinsky in Vanity Fair.  It would serve us all well to prepare.

The simplest rebuttal to why she used that word is that indeed Boko Haram now is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).   John Kerry issued that designation in November 2013 based on the groundwork laid by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.  It is the accurate term.

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It is instructive to follow the Haqqani network here.

Haqqani individuals were designated first (05/11/11, 08/16/11, 11/01/11).  Later (09/07/12) Hillary sent a report to Congress saying she was designating Haqqani, the entity,  an FTO.    Boko Haram individuals were also designated first (06/21/12) under Hillary Clinton.  Designation of the entity as an FTO  came later under her successor.

Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs under Hillary, a dedicated and diligent public servant and her State Department methodically followed protocol all during her administration at DOS.

Here is a little that you need to know about terrorist designation.

It follows criteria established by Executive Order 13224 issued by George W. Bush on September 23, 2001.  Here are a few important items.

In general terms, the Order provides a means by which to disrupt the financial support network for terrorists and terrorist organizations by authorizing the U.S. government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. In addition, because of the pervasiveness and expansiveness of the financial foundations of foreign terrorists, the Order authorizes the U.S. government to block the assets of individuals and entities that provide support, services, or assistance to, or otherwise associate with, terrorists and terrorist organizations designated under the Order, as well as their subsidiaries, front organizations, agents, and associates.

SNIP

For the purpose of the Order, “terrorism” is defined to be an activity that (1) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and (2) appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.

Here is a list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations as of now.  This list shows all designations since Executive Order 13224.

These are the criteria.

Designation Criteria

  • The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, may designate foreign individuals or entities that he determines have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the U.S.;
  • The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, may designate individuals or entities that are determined:
  • To be owned or controlled by, or act for or on behalf of an individual or entity listed in the Annex to the Order or by or for persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of this Order;
  • To assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, acts of terrorism or individuals or entities designated in or under the Order; or
  • To be otherwise associated with certain individuals or entities designated in or under the Order.

For the purpose of the Order, “terrorism” is defined to be an activity that (1) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and (2) appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.

This is the process.

Designation Process The Executive Order authorizes both the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, or the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, to designate individuals and entities pursuant to the specified criteria described above.
Once the Secretary of State or the Secretary of the Treasury designates an individual or entity, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury takes appropriate action to block the assets of the individual or entity in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, including notification of the blocking order to U.S. financial institutions, directing them to block the assets of the designated individual or entity. Notice of the designation is also published in the Federal Register. OFAC also adds the individual or entity to its list of Specially Designated Nationals, by identifying such individuals or entities as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), and posts a notice of this addition on the OFAC website. Designations remain in effect until the designation is revoked or the Executive Order lapses or is terminated in accordance with U.S. law.

These are the effects.

Effects of Designation

Legal Consequences

  1. With limited exceptions set forth in the Order, or as authorized by OFAC, all property and interests in property of designated individuals or entities that are in the United States or that come within the United States, or that come within the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked.
  1. With limited exceptions set forth in the Order, or as authorized by OFAC, any transaction or dealing by U.S. persons or within the United States in property or interests in property blocked pursuant to the Order is prohibited, including but not limited to the making or receiving of any contribution of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of individuals or entities designated under the Order.
  1. Any transaction by any U.S. person or within the United States that evades or avoids, or has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate, any of the prohibitions in the Order is prohibited. Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions is also prohibited.
  1. Civil and criminal penalties may be assessed for violations.

Other Effects

  1. Deters donations or contributions to designated individuals or entities.
  1. Heightens public awareness and knowledge of individuals or entities linked to terrorism.
  1. Alerts other governments to U.S. concerns about individuals or entities aiding terrorism, and promotes due diligence by such governments and private sector entities operating within their territories to avoid associations with terrorists.
  1. Disrupts terrorist networks, thereby cutting off access to financial and other resources from sympathizers.
  1. Encourages designated entities to get out of the terrorism business.

It might be a good idea for us to have some fluency in the language of terrorist designation in advance of what could be an attack from opponents of Hillary Clinton.  Her department followed what clearly is protocol.  Terrorist designation is not issued lightly, has serious consequences,  follows a pattern, and comes  from a team  – not from any single individual.  Nothing in these documents suggests that Hillary’s State Department was less than thorough, careful, methodical, and vigilant in designating terrorist individuals or entities.

Hillary did an exemplary job at the State Department.  Her record is here at this blog, and here, and here.   Delve!   Go for it!  Know about it!  Let’s be prepared to defend it.  We don’t need fiction.  That is a distraction.  Let’s go for the facts.

That, dear hearts, is the homework … for all of us.  Not because she might run,  she might not,  but because her performance was and always has been stellar.  It and she deserve our ready defense.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton smiles as she walks on stage during the Philanthropy New York’s annual meeting, Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at the Ford Foundation in New York. Clinton was interviewed by television journalist Robin Roberts during the event. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Ford Foundation president Darren Walker, left, introduces former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and television journalist Robin Roberts to the stage during a talk at the Philanthropy New York’s annual meeting, Wednesday, May 7, 2014, held at the Ford Foundation in New York. Clinton was interviewed by Roberts during the event. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, is interviewed by television journalist Robin Roberts during the Philanthropy New York’s annual meeting, Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at the Ford Foundation in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during the Philanthropy New York’s annual meeting, Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at the Ford Foundation in New York. Clinton was interviewed by television journalist Robin Roberts during the event. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

 

Hillary Clinton: Nigerian capture an ‘act of terror’

Hillary Clinton called the capture of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls by extremists an “act of terrorism” Wednesday and said the government there needed to accept global offers of help, including from the United States.

It was the first time Clinton has spoken out about the capture of the girls, who were seized from a Nigerian school in mid-April. More than 300 were initially kidnapped, but some escaped. At least 276 are reported to still be held captive by the Islamist militia Boko Haram, which has threatened to sell them.

 

Here is the link to the full video thanks to PYW!  It is not imbeddable.

 

 

 

Hillary gave the keynote address this morning at the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Annual Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

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But first, let me take a selfie with and Chiara!

 

She also spoke at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington.

 

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