UN Declares November 10 Malala Day: Yousefzai continues to lead by example

Malala Yousefzai’s attack by Taliban terrorists backfires on Extremists

CNN reported international and Pakistani support for Yousefzai’s courageous leadership to support equal education of girls. Yesterday was Malala Day, and more than 2 million signatures on two separate petitions were presented to the Pakistani government — one from British citizens, and the other from Pakistani civil society organizations.

“According to U.N. figures, 32 million of the world’s school-aged girls do not get an education. Roughly 10 percent of those girls — 3.1 million — live in Pakistan. In a country where nearly 50 million Pakistanis can’t read or write, two-thirds are women — the third highest number of illiterate women in the world. A Population Council report this year said Pakistan spends less public money on education than any other south Asian country. The U.N. says Pakistan spends seven times more on the military than on primary education.

Despite the statistics, the attack on Malala appears to have brought renewed hope and energy in the campaign to educate Pakistan’s girls. “There’s a huge momentum now,” Brown said. “People are saying I was silent before but I’m not going to be silent as long as girls are denied an education.” But for now, there’s only the promise of help.

The Pakistani government, the U.N., the World Bank, and other international organizations have set an April 2013 deadline to come up with a plan to provide education to all of Pakistan’s school-aged children by the end of 2015.”

None of this could have happened without Yousefzai’s courageous leadership.

It’s somehow hard to believe that simply telling her story and asking for education for herself and other girls could have had such worldwide effect to challenge Taliban oppression. Even the effort to silence her magnified her voice and her public profile.

Authorities in her home town, Swat, have renamed a government college after her. The college offers high school and undergraduate education for 2,000 girls and young women, CNN reports.

She is able to stand, walk and write now, although she is still recovering from infection, ABC reported. 

Yesterday, over 100 countries held celebrations for Malala Day. The office of the UN Special Envoy for Education wrote: “November 10th will recognize that Malala was prevented from going to school because Taliban ideologues favor discrimination against girls and believe girls’ education is an obscenity.

But November 10th will recognize, as Malala recognized, that discrimination takes many forms, some of which are akin to exploitation. Today in Bangladesh, girls of 10 years of age are snatched out of schools to become child brides, denied their childhoods. Across the globe nearly 100,000 girls are conscripted as child soldiers and robbed of their childhoods, while millions of girls are forced into child labor and kept out of school – or forced to sacrifice their full learning potential.

November 10th will build on the momentum of the UN Secretary General’s Education First initiative to show that for the first time in history, the world will no longer let education be a privilege for a few, but instead a right for all. On November 10th, we need to show our solidarity with Malala as global citizens.”

Many other girls and women in Pakistan and Taliban-controlled countries still fear for their lives even as they fight for their rights. Malala’s leadership is helping them stand up, helping civil society and global society stand up for fundamental rights of education for girls and women.

We all stand together because she would not sit down. That is great leadership.

2 comments

  1. […] have written many posts on the brave, articulate education activist, teenager Malala Yousefzai. Farima’s story has a less happy ending, despite her unexpected triumph in public court. But […]

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  2. […] Chicago's impoverished communities to support healing and prevent violence. I've also written about Malala Yousafzai, and her work for the education of girls in Pakistan, and now on a global scale. My blog about the […]

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