This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Day of the Girl Child

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) designated today as the "International Day of the Girl Child." The planning for this event was clearly already in the works when the fourteen-old girl was shot in the head by the Taliban in Swat Valley of Pakistan for publicly supporting education for girls.
Malala Yousafzai, in critical condition two days after being attacked in the north-western Swat Valley, arrived by helicopter in Rawalpindi from Peshawar.
The Taliban, who accuse the young activist of "promoting secularism", have said they will target her again.
Using the pen-name Gul Makai, she wrote about suffering caused by militants who had taken control of the Swat Valley in 2007 and ordered girls' schools to close.
The Taliban were ousted from Swat in 2009, but her family said they had regularly received death threats.
They believed she would be safe among her own community, but on Tuesday, she was stopped as she returned home from school in Mingora, in north-western Swat, and shot in the head.
I was thinking about these issues this evening as I watched the Vice-Presidential debate, which featured near the end the views on abortion of two Catholic males. One (Paul Ryan) has publicly supported the idea contained within the Republican Party platform that would define personhood as beginning at the moment of conception, which is interpreted to mean that even young girls who are raped should not be allowed to have an abortion. He changed his position a bit tonight, but he is clearly opposed to abortion for all American women. The other (Joe Biden) publicly stated his personal opposition to abortion, while also believing that women need to make their own reproductive decisions for themselves. Which of those views seems more like the Taliban approach?

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