International Day of the Girl Child: A dedication to Malala Yousafzai
The 11th of October is the First UN International Day for the Girl Child, and Women Living Under Muslim Laws would like to mark this day by dedicating it to 14-year old Malala Yousafzai - a young school girl so spirited and courageous that she has inspired thousands of people around the world.
Malala, who is from the Swat region in Pakistan, has been committed to advocating for girls’ rights to education from the tender age of 11. Despite the risks and threats she and her family have received whilst living under the Taliban, Malala raised her voice in defiance by starting a blog on BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban and their intention to close down all girls’ schools in Swat.
When asked in an interview with CNN in 2011 how she would deal with the Taliban demanding to shut down all schools, she answered “I would talk to them and show them that nowhere in the Quran does it say that girls cannot go to school”. She was then asked why she risks her life to raise her voice, to which her response was “ I thought my people needed me and if I don’t raise my voice now, when will I raise my voice?”
Two days ago, Malala was shot twice by a Taliban gunman on her way home from school. The gunman waived down the school bus, hopped on and shot her in the head and shoulder. Sadly, she is the victim of the ignorance and fear that breeds fundamentalism. We can only hope that this terrible moment will not stop her from her fight for girls’ right to education.
Through this dedication we hope to honor the inspiring Malala, and we wish her a quick and full recovery.
- Violence against Women in the context of Political Transformations and Economic Crisis in the Euro-Mediterranean Region:
- Too Young to Wed
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo*
- Disposable Victims: Laws and Practices on Gender-related Killings of Women and Girls in the Islamic Republic of Iran
- Stoning: Legal or Practised in 16 Countries and Showing No Signs of Abating