Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan told Katie Couric Saturday that 2010 is a pivotal year for educating millions of girls in developing countries, emphasizing her cause's importance by saying "education really can mean life or death."
The women were featured guests of The Daily Beast's "Women in the World" summit in New York City. Couric's interview of the queen, a UNICEF advocate, was a highlight of the weekend-long summit's second day. On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at the summit.
"I really do think this is a do-or-die year, and I don't mean that metaphorically; education really can mean life or death," Queen Rania told Couric, according to The Daily Beast.
Without a major initiative to educate the 600 million girls in the developing world, they are condemned to lives of poverty and disease, Queen Rania told Couric.
"Educating a girl is probably the highest returning investment that a country can make," the queen said.
After the interview, Couric participated in a panel discussion with advocates of women and girls.