Education is the only defense from ignorance. For instance, it was not until the 12th century that early Christians began to accept the concept of Zero as a value, rather than a religious statement of “void” or nothingness, i.e.- No God.. It was Muslims that introduced Christian monks to zero, a concept first established in 300 BC in India and points east. Needing a better way to count money probably helped the concept along.I heard a person say the best way to bring third world nations into the modern world is to educate and empower the women. Nearly every day, we hear of rape being used as a weapon against women by men of every religious persuasion. In some cultures, for a woman to be raped and live is an insult to her husband who shuns her as if it were her fault she was attacked. And men leave their children and their wife, and find another woman with whom to start a family. But in communities where women are protected by local authorities and given a chance to better themselves, the women and their children thrive.Here, American men, in the name of God, continue to try and make it more difficult for women to compete in a man’s world by underpaying them, overworking them, and forcing them to bear and care for children even in the case of rape or incest. A recent ad campaign had billboards showing a sexy woman in lingerie and the words, “Life is Short, Get a Divorce.” Churches welcome the married and divorced alike, and too many American fathers have no qualms about never seeing their children again after a divorce, leaving the mother to try to rebuild her life while caring for sons and daughters alone. Malala is everything the religious fanatic fears. An educated female with the courage to speak her mind instead of being ‘respectfully silent". Her father has been offered a position in England and I hope they stay. The Taliban has already promised to kill any of the family that returns.Education, especially when it includes music, art, sports, et al, empowers people. It makes friends out of geeks and jocks and it enables young men and women to make better decisions.“When a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do…He finds the woman who knows what’s going on."I’ve seen that quote in action too many times and am grateful for the many strong female role models I had growing up. As Steppenwolf said in their song, For Ladies Only- "Half the world has been built upon their(women’s) tears.Gratefully,C.