In the midst of sex-trafficking, genocide, economic recession, and government corruption, there is one plight that I have always resonated strongly with…the plight of the woman. If you did not know, today is the International Day of the Girl, and while there are many that deserve award, applause, and honor, the story of one has been a big inspiration to me.
Yesterday, I read a CNN article on a young Pakistani blogger, much like me, hoping her posts could change the world. As a fellow blogger, I am astounded by the power in every word from Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old girl who proudly writes to affirm her right to education. Young and resilient, despite the dangers, she continuously writes about attending school in Swat Valley, a militant “hotbed,” hoping that her words can help liberate the people of her country from the Taliban. In danger every time she steps out of her house, she marches on to her school for girls, even though some have already stopped attending, fearing retaliation from Taliban forces. In one post she boldly writes, “I have the right of education…I have the right to speak up.”
Malala’s writing, for which she won Pakistan’s first Peace Prize in November, has been recognized as a beacon for the women’s movement. Her strong opposition to the Taliban, who has already closed many schools for girls as a result of their interpretation of Sharia Law, is clear throughout her posts as she expresses the terrors of artillery fire and nightmares and heartfelt distress as she frets on whether she will be able to attend school after winter break contrasted with her unyielding determination.
Now Malala resides in a hospital, suffering form a cerebral edema after being shot in the neck. She was allegedly in a van with two other girls on their way school from school when the other two girls were asked which of the three were Malala. After responding, the men opened fire. According to CNN, the Taliban, who are “enraged” about her writings of her daily struggle for education, has claimed responsibility for the shootings and have declared that they will take action again if she lives.
This act of violence has definitely shaken the nation, furthermore, the attack on this much-loved girl is also reverberating across the world. Laura Bush exclaimed that Malala was an inspiration, and Madonna recently honored Malala in one of her songs at a concert in Los Angeles.
A few minutes ago, I was in my WordPress reader, looking through posts that others had written and I found that today, many women were speaking out on their right to flaws, their right to curves, or even their right to love themselves, and I am proud to call myself a women. These are also woman, who hope to encourage positive thought with their writing.
I looked at a gallery of pictures (here) which depicted women of all sizes, colours, experiences, and age–such as Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Melanne Verveer, Vanessa Mae, etc.– who were sharing the fruits of their experience. These women, I cherish as a declaration of how far women have come.
These women are lights in a dark world full of sex-trafficking, discrimination, and abuse. We have achieved much, and we still have so much more to achieve. Yet still, I celebrate the International Day of the Girl proudly.
As Marilyn Monroe once said, “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.”
Follow Malala Here!