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Education For Girls Everywhere? We Need to Speak Up!

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham via Getty Images

You may have missed it, but on Saturday, the United Nations celebrated a 15-year old girl from Pakistan who was brutally wounded by a religious extremist. Her crime? Advocating for education of girls like herself.

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck last month by a Taliban gunman. Amazingly, she survived her attack, as well as a journey halfway around the world to Birmingham, England [photo above]. She’s being treated there and, while no one can be completely certain, it looks like she’ll survive the shooting.

The attack has galvanized people in Pakistan and around the world.Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now a UN advocate for global education, noted:

It seems that Malala’s courage has awoken Pakistan’s silent majority who are no longer prepared to tolerate the threats and intimidations of the Pakistan Taliban.

Pakistan’s government has announced it will give money grants and otherr inducements to get every Pakistani child in school by 2015. While I’m not against money for education, I’d rather have seen the Pakistan government commit itself to ending violence by the Taliban and other extremist groups that operate within its borders.

Those groups likely have legitimate issues to discuss with the government. Fine. But a firm condition of such talks should be the renunciation of violence [the UK did it, forcing the Irish Republican Army to end its bloody campaign in Northern Ireland before it would negotiate with the IRA's political wing, Sinn Fein].

This is kinda heavy for a Monday morning. But oppression based on gender is not, cannot be allowed to continue anywhere in the world.

What do we do about it? Damned if I know. Pray, if that’s right for you; meditate, if that’s more appropriate. Write your Congressperson, your Senator, the President. But don’t let this just go away. It’s too important, for your daughters, your nieces, your granddaughters.

 

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