October 9, 2013: Today marks one year since Malala Yousafzai—the young Pakistani woman who spoke out against the Taliban in the name of education—was shot in the head by the militant group on her way home from school.
Following what could be deemed a miraculous recovery, Malala continues to speak out for her countrywomen of Swat, a region in which only one out of five females receive any type of formal education. In relaying her harrowing account at the United Nations address in July, Malala said, ‘They [the Taliban] thought that the bullet would silence us. But they failed."
Since her early youth, Malala had aspired to become a doctor, a considerable challenge given the status of women in her culture. As of late she reports that she’d rather enter into politics—perhaps an initial prodding by her activist father that turned into a deeper desire to change her societal constructs to create a better future for her sisters of Pakistan.
No matter her chosen profession, Malala has demonstrated that she is determined to stay the course of her education, while continuing to speak for those without voices, who are not afforded the opportunities to follow a similar path. Malala’s awe-inspiring dedication to instituting education rights for every Pakistani lends us a strong lesson in disregard of self. She does not work for her interests alone; she strives for a better future for each of her sisters.
As evidenced, Malala’s story has captivated men and women worldwide. This year, she’s been nominated as the recipient of the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize. There have been a record 259 nominations this year, but prominently displayed at the front and center of the New York Times, BBC news, and the Huffington Post? Malala Yousafzai’s photo. The recipient of the Prize will be announced this Friday.
In this anniversary week of Taliban brutality, Malala is also releasing a book. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban hits shelves on Tuesday.
This courageous woman—who continues to face the constant threat of attack but refuses to be silenced—has done more for women’s rights in her fifteen years on this earth than most people will do their entire lifetime.
-Carrie (guest blogger)
Images provided by BricPlusNews, Glamour