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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot for promoting education for girls

Dear Daughters,

I am outraged and saddened to hear of the assassination attempt of a 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl. Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck yesterday on her way home from school by the Taliban – an extremist group. Her crime – promoting the right of education for girls – which the Taliban strongly opposes.

The Taliban promotes and imposes their values through extreme violence but despite this, young Malala did not let the threat of violence against her stop her from speaking her mind.

According to Rick Westhead’s article on entitled Gunman shoots teenage children’s rights activist:

“In September 2008, she travelled with her father Zia to Peshawar to speak to a press club.

‘How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education,’ Yousafzai said in front of a packed room of journalists, some of them broadcasting live.

Looking into the cameras, she scolded the Taliban.

‘You may stop me from going to school, but you will not stop me from learning,’ she said.”

Malala was only 10 at the time. Only 10! She is definitely wise and brave beyond her years and well deserving of the 2011 nomination for the International Children’s Peace Prize she received from the KidsRight Foundation. She was the first Pakistani girl nominated for the award.

Now 14, Malala fights for her life. She is a brave girl who gives hope to all Pakistanis and girls around the world. She has inspired a nation. Read this excerpt from The National Post online entitled, Pakistani surgeons remove bullet from 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai but Taliban threaten to ‘finish this chapter’:

“The shooting provoked outrage across the country, angering Pakistanis who have seen a succession of stories about violence against women by the Taliban.

General Ashfaq Kayani, chief of Pakistan’s powerful army, visited her in hospital and condemned her attackers.

‘The cowards who attacked Malala and her fellow students, have shown time and again how little regard they have for human life and how low they can fall in their cruel ambition to impose their twisted ideology,’ Kayani said in a statement.

The military said it had a simple message, which it wrote in capital letters in the statement to add emphasis: ‘WE REFUSE TO BOW BEFORE TERROR.’ ”

As the world waits, hopes and prays that Malala survives the senseless and cruel attack on her life, I leave you with her words to Toronto Star reporter, Rick Westhead in January 2011.

“They (the Taliban) may hate me and want me dead but I know my family supports me. And so do countries like yours.”

Celebrate Malala and support her fight for the right to girls’ education tomorrow, on the first ever International Day of the Girl!



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