A couple days ago, my inbox was flooded with emails regarding a Pakistani preteen whom the Taliban had attempted to kill. Why? Because she “is the symbol of the infidels and obscenity.” 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, however, is an incredibly heroic human being. And right now, there’s a 30% she won’t survive. So if you can, take a few minutes and read about her.
As a 14-year-old, I mostly much hated going to middle school. I took it for granted (because I was an idiot at 14 and took most things for granted), while kids like Malala had their schools shut down. As Amanda Chatel described it:
In 2009, Malala’s school in Swat Valley was one of many that were shut down by the Taliban as they tried to institute a ban on educating girls. It was at that time that Malala, then only 11, started a blog under an anonymous name for the BBC. In it, she wrote candidly about her life under the Taliban as well as her beliefs, political views and her advocacy for women’s rights. Don’t even think about what you were doing at 11, because you’ll just make yourself depressed.
Although the Taliban would eventually be removed from the area and Malala was able to return to school, the prominence that came with her bravery (she won Pakistan’s first National Peace Prize) resulted in the end to her anonymity. In other words, she had a target on her back. She had put fear in the Taliban, and they would not rest until she was silent.
Being from a family that possessed progressive values and encouraged standing up for one’s beliefs, Malala did not stay silent. Instead of keeping quiet about this oppression and that of the females around her, she raised her voice and was heard around the world. For this, the Taliban attempted to kill her by shooting her in the head and neck. She will soon be flown to Germany in hopes of making a full recovery, which doctors currently estimate there is a 70% chance of. [via TheGloss]
All across the globe, people are rightfully livid about this. Schoolgirls have been photographed holding photos of the Yousafzai as well as signs in support of Malala and message. Prayers have been organized, including in Pakistan, in hope of her recovery. Apparently, Pakistani police have arrested several suspects, but it remains to be seen how her attempted murder will be dealt with.
This is deeply saddening on so many levels, and I hope that Yousafzai makes a full recovery as quickly as possible. This is a clear example of oppression of women’s rights and the desperate desire of a few to cease equality and the dispersion of equality-driven debate for many. When extremists (of any religious, national, etc. background) attempt to violently silence people whose values threaten theirs, it’s proof of the constant need for people with similar bravery to Malala who will stand up for equality regardless of the dangers (though, of course, there should be none).
Lovelies, what do you think about this news and Malala’s story?