A 14-Year-Old Girl’s Courage – International Day of the Girl Child

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October 11, 2012; Source: Los Angeles Times

Some of us have not been able to wrap our heads around the motivations of the Taliban in Pakistan for attempting to murder 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai for her advocacy of the rights of girls to get an education. Although she was critically shot in the head and neck, Malala is recovering, but a Taliban spokesperson said they would do it again if she recovers. How ironic that the Taliban’s attempted assassination of a 14-year-old education rights activist occurred in time for the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl Child.

Malala’s crimes included advocating for girls’ rights to an education and documenting the Taliban’s destruction of schools. The Taliban obviously isn’t participating in the U.N. observance, which is focusing on the problem of child marriage. “Education for girls is one of the best strategies for protecting girls against child marriage,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “When they are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, girls can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families…Let us do our part to let girls be girls, not brides.”

Malala’s would-be assassins shot her on a school bus, where a gunman identified her by name and then pulled the trigger on his weapon. Can anyone fathom what these people were thinking? She was targeted, according to the Taliban, for “preaching secularism.” That was her alleged crime: secularism as expressed by the threatening concept of education for girls.

What are U.S. nonprofits doing to recognize and honor the courage of Malala Yousafzai and to help girls in this country observe the International Day of the Girl Child?—Rick Cohen

  • Debbie Schubert

    That this should still happen in todays world, and that the people that did it feel no shame is incredible. Education is a powerful tool tool that can help a person deliver more to their country not less. We need to support this brave girl, and protect her from ignorance.

  • Qasir Rafiq

    I am from Pakistan and one of the activist who is working for girls education in tribal areas of Pakistan. Malala is our Pride and we will continue her mission and we have a Faith that she will recover soon. Please show your thougths and let us know how we should spread voice for female education. Join our campaign “Support Education! Support Women!”.


    Qasir Rafiq
    Social Scientist

  • Beverly Jenkin

    I cannot fathom the cruelty of this action! Truly evil!!

  • Jennifer Chapin

    This act of primitiveness re-enforces the cave-age mentality of the Taliban. Patriarchy will never win, someone ought to tell them that in many other progressive parts of the world it is a relic, a dinosaur, like they are.

    For every brave girl that makes a stand and gets hurt in the process, another hundred will stand up. It is their time, and the time for women globally.

    The behavior of the Taliban in this instance (and in so many others) is obscene. Let us hope sooner rather than later we view them as museum pieces and as a warning to all of us to never back down in the face of tyranny.

    And let us also hope that as a global community we stand up to support Malala Yousafzai, and those who come after her., tangibly.


    I don’t think anyone sane or rational can even begin to fathom what the gangsters were thinking when they tried to kill Malal and her two colleagues. The only thing that one can possit is that when gangsters meet deadly weapons meet fanatics meet manipulators, the result can only be characterised as deadly and purely out of the dark ages. But then, so is marrying out girls who are no more than very young children, something harking back to the dark ages. My heart breaks when I think what these girls have to go through to satisfy some barbaric beliefs.

  • Mauganai Seti Atimalala

    Allah and Mohammed and human decency has nothing to do with the shooting of a young girl trying to voice an opinion for rights to education. It is only ignorance and evil. I have 3 daughters and cry for the parents who have to endure such injustice. May the love of Allah shine through to enlighten this ignorant movement – The Taleban.

  • Johnny

    This is one of the reasons we should not reduce our military’s budgets. We have to eliminate those Taliban to help this girl and millions of others who are in the same situation. There rights are similar to our daughter’s ones.

  • George Barrett

    I am apalled at the inhumanity of such a dispictable act of violence towards a defenceless teenage girl. She is strong and yet so vulnerable . The Tailban are true cowards their fear is tangible and evident, their religion is misogency their god is cruel. Malala Yousafzai is a saint long may she live

  • julius

    Its realy very hard to tell the direction the current world is taking, but I strongly believe that with continious advocacy by actively transparent activist,the world will one time will be relieved. I strongly apeal to the responsible humanitarian international bodies especially UN to seriously intervine such brutal act to the marginalized groups of people like children,people with disabilities and wemen

  • Romal

    human has sense and it needs strict rules and constitution to control such sense. Pakistan left some of the tribes in north free with out any regulation till they become insurgents and attack on Afghanistan government and people to keep them weak and dependent but they forgot that one time these insurgents and savages will turn face to Pakistan as well. unfortunately Pakistan government still following such guilty politics but god willing they burn in tier own fire.

  • Nikki

    War solves nothing. It’s a waste of money, time, and lives. I believe we need to support those who are tired of being oppressed with our well-wishes, our own personal money, and leave war-mongering governments out of it. If we care individually, we can make a huge impact. We need to support this young girl, and all young children across the world who are standing for what they believe in. We can’t pay for another war! We can barely pay for our own dysfunctional government. We are “borrowing” money from other countries to fund our nation and fund our wars. Those same nations are spying on us, and stabbing us in the back every chance they get. Peace and love wins peace and love. The mentally ill and ignorant won’t be won over in a day. Look at our own history and civil rights. Peace brings about change. Violence begets hate!

  • Johnny

    I understand your point Nikki, and I agreed with you all but one, we support the girl and others but only by our words and thoughts, that is not enough. Extermination of the Taliban would be the best action, period.