On July 12, 1997, a brave baby girl named Malala Yousufzai was born in Pakistan. Today at the young age of 15, she’s accomplished more in her life than others could imagine. Malala’s been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize, won the first National Youth Peace Prize in Pakistan, and featured in a New York Times documentary.
In 2009, Malala started writing an online diary for the BBC Urdu. According to Rob Crilly of The Telegraph: “Malala Yousufzai was one of the few brave voices who spoke out. She did it anonymously – to do otherwise would have brought immediate death. But her blog for the BBC Urdu Service detailing the abuses meant no one could pretend an accommodation with the terrorists was anything other than a deal with the devil.” Her life has been dedicated to education and women’s rights activism in Pakistan.
On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot in the head while returning home on a school bus in an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Eventually, she was airlifted to a UK war trauma center to receive better treatment.
Senator Dianne Feinstein in The Huffington Post: “But women and girls like Malala continue to face threats and violence, especially in areas controlled by the Taliban. Girls have been sprayed with acid and poison gas, schools have been burned, and women and girls have been shot and killed simply for working and speaking out for women’s rights. Malala was targeted because she refused to remain silent as the Taliban turned women and girls into second-class citizens. She was targeted because she was an advocate for education.”
On October 26th, Malala was reunited with family at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in London. Her prognosis is looking good but has a long road to “recovery.” What will the future be for Malala? According to CNN: “Once Malala has regained strength, doctors will reconstruct her skull either by replacing the fist-sized piece of bone that they removed in Pakistan, or with a titanium plate…In addition, doctors may operate on her jaw…”
Recently, a government college in Pakistan renamed its school after Malala Yousafzai. This is a beginning but not a solution. When women are equal as men throughout the world, that is when “real” change will happen. In 2012, a girl shot demanding equal education as her male counterparts is pathetic, tragic, and sad. Everyone should have access to education, freedom, and life without intimidation, violence, and abuse. Let’s make Malala the last female to be shot going to school…