Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Woman of the week - Malala Yousafzai

Yesterday, Malala Yousafzai, a fourteen-year-old advocate of female education, was shot in the head and neck by the Pakistani Taliban. As of this morning, the bullet was removed from her head, and she is in stable condition. If she does survive, the Taliban has threatened to try to kill her again.

Why is this young woman a target of the Taliban? Frankly, she's their worst nightmare. Yousafzai is a women's rights activist who believes strongly in women's education. She started blogging about life under the Taliban rule back in 2009, and she has been a well-known activist ever since. Yousafzai had to keep her identity a secret so the Taliban couldn't find her. Unfortunately, they stopped her school bus yesterday, and shot her and two of her classmates.

Hillary Clinton said that Yousafzai was, "very brave in standing up for the rights of girls [and the attackers were] threatened by that kind of empowerment." Yousafzai was the first person to win Pakistan's National Peace Prize. She was highly influenced by her father who is an educational activist. He named Malala after Malalai of Maiwan, a Pashtun poet and warrior woman. He raised an amazing daughter, and he should be very proud of her. My heart goes out to Yousafzai and her family. I pray that she makes a full recovery.

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