Yesterday was the first International Day of the Girl, and we have a young hero who exemplifies what this day is all about: Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who is a big supporter of girls’ education. Earlier this week Malala was shot by the Taliban on a school bus for her stance on girls’ rights and there has been a worldwide outcry, especially in Pakistan.
According to the New York Times, the brave young woman was rushed to a hospital in Peshawar (a city in Pakistan) after being shot in the head and neck. The BBC reports that she was recently moved to a care unit in Rawalpindi (another city in Pakistan) and has a 70% chance of survival. She is still in critical condition but the next two days are crucial for Malala’s recovery. A reward for more than $100,000 is being offered to find the monster who did this to her. As of press time, CNN reports that the police had detained 200 suspects and have narrowed it down to three suspects.
People with differing political opinions in Pakistan are coming together in support of the young activist, and the support for her can also been seen worldwide as she becomes one of the lead stories in many news sources. “Malala is our pride,” said Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik. “She became an icon for the country.”
President Obama deemed the assassination attempt “disgusting” and has offered aid to Malala, like a military air ambulance if she needs to be rushed elsewhere. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “She was attacked and shot by extremists who don’t want girls to have an education, and don’t want girls to speak for themselves, and don’t want girls to become leaders.”
The Taliban is infamous for its strong stance against women’s rights and has vowed to attack Malala again. Talking in an interview to CNN last year, Malala said that one of the ways to defeat the Taliban is through education.
The whole world is rooting for Malala and watching closely to see what will happen next. She risked her life for what she believes in, and it’s something (girls in school) we think nothing about and take for granted. We can also carry on Malala’s dream by supporting girls’ rights to education worldwide.
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