Remember the girls in Nigeria

The terrorist group Boko Haram recently kidnapped 276 Nigerian schoolgirls who were trying to get an education.

“You will not do school again,” the terrorists told the girls. “You shall do Islamic school.”

That was the report from one of the six girls who escaped, wrote Adam Nossiter in The New York Times.

Those words are chilling today. How could anyone believe that girls shouldn’t be educated?

However, as we remember the girls in Nigeria, let’s remember, too, that women in our own country were denied access to education not so long ago.

In 1961, one dean of a medical school explained, “Yes, indeed, we do take women, and we do not want the one woman we take to be lonesome, so we take two per class.”

Gail Collins included that quote in her book When Everything Changed. In 1960, Collins said, women accounted for 6 percent of American doctors, 3 percent of lawyers and less than 1 percent of engineers.

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