I won’t forget the morning I saw the news. I reluctantly picked up the paper and my heart sank. There on the front page was her picture. A pair of deep dark eyes stared back at me. The innocent yet determined eyes of a child well beyond her years. Her name is Malala Yousafzai and she is on the cusp of womanhood. A mere fourteen years old. Half child. Half woman. Still a girl but with the power, bravery and perserverence of only the strongest women on earth. The strength and courage to stand up to an entire nation built on repression. The determination to fight for something so important to her, that she would risk her life for it. The simple right to learn.
Malala Yousafzai is the fourteen-year-old school girl from Pakistan that was savagely shot by the Taliban on her way to school. A symbol of bravery, courage and strength for over 32 million girls worldwide who are denied the simple right to an education each and every day.
What is so incredibly striking about Malala is that she made a decision to stand up for what she believed was wrong. That girls should have the right to go to school. Little did she know that her act of defiance would make her a crusader and activist for girls education around the globe.
Unfortunately education is not universal, especially in the developing parts of the world where children are denied the right to education which further reinforces a vicious cycle of poverty and desperation that is spiraling about of control.
Here are some sad facts regarding children’s education around the world*:
- 115 million child laborers are involved in hazardous work.
- 61 million children are shut out of primary school.
- 34 million adolescent girls are not in school.
- 16 million children with disabilities not in school; 1/4 of these children are blind.
*Source: Education Envoy
These facts are a tragedy. However, they are even more devastating when we examine the statistics on girls education**:
- Globally, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world and of that number, 77.6 million girls are currently not enrolled in either primary or secondary education.
- Of 163 million illiterate youth in the world, more than half – 63 percent-are female.
- Around the world, 250 million adolescent girls live in poverty.
- Sixty-five low and middle income countries are losing approximately $92 billion per year by failing to educate girls to the same standards as boys.
- One girl in seven in developing countries marries before age 15.
**Source: 10×10/International Day of the Girl
Imagine the endless possibilities if girls are educated. Think of all the untapped potential that nations are washing down the drain. Not only is the right to education a basic human right that all people should have regardless of gender, it makes an enormous amount of sense to educate girls. Imagine the improvement in peoples lives if girls were educated.
Children would be transported from devastation like this….
To a future like this…a future full of hope.
Stand With Malala on November 10th:
“The world is encouraged as Malala Yousafzai continues her fight since being shot in the head by the Taliban simply because she wanted to go to school. This weekend when she stood up for the first time since being laid low by the dreadful attack, the world witnessed her standing up for 32 million girls around the world who are denied daily their right to go to a classroom and learn.
That is why we are declaring November 10th a global day of action for Malala and 32 million girls more. On that day, one month following the assassination attempt, as UN Special Envoy for Global Education, I will travel to Pakistan to deliver to President Zardari our million-plus petition to make education a reality for all Pakistani children. We will let the world know that we will no longer accept keeping girls out of school. You can find out more and sign the petition by visiting www.iammalala.org.”
Source: The Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education
- Sign the petition to call on Pakistan to agree to a plan to deliver education to all its children: http://educationenvoy.org/
- Spread the word. Inform your audience of the #IamMalala campaign and invite them to sign the petition.
- Spend November 10th in solidarity for Malala Day. Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown – the UN Special Envoy for Global Education – and his wife Sarah will deliver this petition to the Pakistani president on this day.
All information above is taken directly from http://www.educationenvoy.org.
Please take a few moments out of your day to help girls receive an education! We can no longer tolerate intolerance. It is time to let our voice be heard.
A very brave young woman. I hope the petition will be heeded by the Pakistani president.
I read the news report in shock too… Unthinkable horror… praying for her and all the young females around the world living under oppression. Thank you for checking in during the Hurricane… your kind wishes were appreciated!
Didn’t you write a post as well on her? I thought I recall reading one. I hope things are going better for you over there. 🙂
Yes, I did… We are coping well. TY!
Reblogged this on poet4justicedotwordpressdotcom.
Thank you so much for spreading the word!
I love your post! Although I must point out that she never believed that “girls should have the right to go to school” was wrong. She was always an advocate for education to her friends & family even before the Taliban came. She was raised to believe in the value of education via her family and religion, both.
Thank you! I’m not clear though on your comment that she didn’t believe girls had the right to go to school though. Can you please clarify a little. If she believed in the value of education but didn’t believe she had the right to go, doesn’t really make sense. Maybe I am misunderstanding….thanks! 🙂
Oh I’m so SORRY! I totally should have gone back and verified that. I misunderstood what you wrote. I thought you said she didn’t believe in the cause, but stood up for it any ways. My apologies. I feel stupid now. LOL
No worries at all!!!! 🙂 I just wanted to make sure I understood too! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment!
It’s heart wrenching to read through the sad facts…
Malala is a hero to all girl children in the subcontinent! Will be interesting to see how President Zardari handles this petition.
I hope it goes well! Hopefully a lot of pressure will make him abide by it.
The world needs more Malalas speaking out their opinion and standing in for their rights. When girls/women are given the possibilty to grow economically and in terms of education, they are even the ones giving back the most to their society.
Indeed correct. They also give back more to their family overall too.
Reblogged this on miyaonherway and commented:
Experience shows that if you give 100$ to a guy, he will most likely spend most of it to follow his own interests. His family, relatives and respective group of people will follow far behind and are lucky if they benefit of it in one or the other way.
On the contrary, girls and women tend to invest money more thoughtfully, think about how and where to best invest it and are more focussed on having their closed-ones and society benefit from it as well. That’s why in many development projects, it is the women who are specifically addressed.
And that’s also why the story of Malala Yousafzai is not only the story of a simple girl standing in for her rights. It is the story of a girl fighting for her right for an education and in the same time for potentially improving life conditions for all of the people belonging to her circle. I am sure there are many more Malalas in this world who haven’t been heard up to now!
Thank you so much! This is great!!!! 🙂