Pakistan's President Zardari tells UNESCO event in Paris that providing education for girls is the best strategy to defeat Taliban. The President pledged $10m (£8m) for girls' education to UNESCO on Monday in the name of a Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, saying sending girls to school was the best way to combat extremism.
The October attack on Malala Yousufzai
"I have no doubt that our resolve to provide education to all, in particular to the millions of schoolgirls, is the best strategy to defeat the forces of violence," said Zardari, who wore a badge with Yousufzai's face on his lapel. He gave no further details about the education fund, nor where the money would come from.
Yousufzai had campaigned for girls' education for years in the Swat valley, north-west of Pakistan's capital of Islamabad, before being shot at close range while leaving school.
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The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt, calling her efforts pro-western.
Some 61 million primary school-age children around the world do not attend school and two-thirds are girls, UNESCO said. In Pakistan, nearly half of females from rural areas do not attend school, it added.
The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, told the UNESCO gathering that an education would mean girls were less likely to become child brides and could better contribute to their families' livelihoods.
"Closing the education gap is a powerful prescription for economic growth. But all over the world girls still face enormous obstacles to getting an education," Clinton said in a video message to the gathering.