Queen Rania: We Need More Educated Girls

couric_notebook0501.jpg
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Katie Couric Saturday at the Women in the World summit, sponsored by The Daily Beast, in New York, March 13, 2010. The Daily Beast

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.

Katie Couric speaks Saturday at the Women in the World summit, sponsored by The Daily Beast, in New York, March 13, 2010. 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.

Katie Couric listens during a panel discussion Saturday at the Women in the World summit, sponsored by The Daily Beast, in New York, March 13, 2010. The Daily Beast

After the interview, Couric participated in a panel discussion with advocates of women and girls.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Queen Rania joined Tina Brown (left) at the Women in the World summit, sponsored by The Daily Beast, in New York, March 13, 2010. The Daily Beast
  • CBSNEWS_alex_sundby_75x56.jpg
    Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com