Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Notable Women of 2012- Malala Yousafzai (Part One of Five)

                                                                                                                   photo credit

  Malala Yousafzai is a 14-year old Pakistani activist who spoke out against the Taliban's restriction of women's freedom and female education. She was shot in the head in early October in a targeted attack outside her school, along with two of her friends who were also hit by stray bullets. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility, saying her work was an obscenity that needed to be stopped. "She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her ideal leader. She was young but she was promoting Western culture."

  As part of her fight for girls' education Malala anonymously blogged for the BBC (here) about what was happening, which included the burning of girls' schools. She also talked of her desire to set up her own political party and a vocational institute for marginalized girls in her area. Her efforts were recognised, and Pakistan's prime minister awarded her the country's first National Peace award.

  Malala is still undergoing treatment and unable to come back to school, but her friends who were also wounded are returning in defiance of the Taliban. Despite her age we're including Malala on our list of women we admire most this year. Her courage and commitment to a cause, and her courage to pursue it is tremendously inspiring.

Update: Jan 4, 2013  

Malala was released from hospital yesterday and is recovering at home. Doctors are scheduled to perform cranial reconstructive surgery on her within the coming month, where they will replace a shattered portion of her skull with either her own bone or a titanium plate.

References: Guardian article
                  Vancouver Sun article

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