Imagine riding the bus home from school and being ambushed by the taliban because you blog about girls getting an education.
This is what happened to Malala Yousafzai on a Tuesday, October 9, 2012.
The young militants opened fire on the bus, shot Malala in the head and neck, wounded two others, and left them for dead.
They thought they’d silenced Malala forever but they were wrong. She survived and has continued to spread her message that a girls’ education benefits everyone. It reduces mortality rates, increases lifetime wage earnings, and strengthens democracy.
Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. She is the youngest person to have ever been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Malala’s father sounds a lot like my dad. My dad never limited me because I was a girl. He always told me I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to. Malala’s dad owned a school and encouraged his daughter to write and go to school even though he lived in a society that prized sons more than daughters.
In July 2013, on her 16th birthday, Malala addressed the United Nations General Assembly:
“We must not forget that millions of people are suffering from poverty, injustice and ignorance. We must not forget that millions of children are out of schools. We must not forget that our sisters and brothers are waiting for a bright peaceful future. So let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.”
Malala reminds us that some girls face death for going to school. Terrorist groups in Afghanistan and other oppressed areas of the world continue to threaten and attack female students and teachers. Things were improving in some places but with limited presence of the United States in these oppressed areas, girls lives are in danger if they read books and go to school.
Clearly, Malala is a strong girl with big dreams. The next time you’re tempted to skip school, think of the price other girls in the world pay for the right to learn. Strong girls are readers. Strong girls are educated. Strong girls, like Malala, have the courage to stand up and not sit down for what is right.
How much better [is it] to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! Proverbs 16:16