By: Rebecca Rommen, 14
A true heroine of our modern society is Malala Yousafzai. She lived under the Taliban, in a world with a completely different mentality as ours, where death was always a risk she took merely by showing up to school. Malala proved her intelligence from a young age, and was fortunate to have a father who supported her rights and helped her grasp the fundamental importance and value of education.
The Taliban started targeting her province more and more often and starting 2005, once they too had made that realization and inferred that knowledge is power, they began bombing and eliminating schools. To keep the public powerless, they had to limit their knowledge. Pakistani girls in the Swat District, where she lived, were then prohibited from attending school. Malala revolted and spoke on as many broadcasting networks and global radio-stations as she could, cunningly making her voice heard. Women deserve an education, and Malala wanted the world to know the difficulties of getting one she had in northwestern Pakistan. On October 9, 2012, while riding the school bus home, she got shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunmen.
After local treatment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where she was in a critical terminal condition, she was sent to Birmingham, England were she underwent intense rehabilitation. It was a failed assassination attempt on a 15-year old girl, whose only “crime” had been to desire for an education. It didn’t silence her though and she has been sharing her testimony ever since. Even though they shot her, she still manages to speak of them peacefully and does not feel any violence toward them.
Sexism toward women is a global issue we still struggle with. In regions like Malala’s it is severe and women have few rights and opportunities in life. Even in developed countries, salaries for women are lower than men’s in the exact same career field, and they have to deal with constant sexist situations and remarks by society.
Malala is just 16, but for speaking out for her rights, became a victim to grown, corrupted men. Malala is just two years older than me; we are both teenage girls who live in completely different worlds and have completely different histories. She defended all of us- and helped open education centers specifically for women in third world countries. Malala is a thousand times more courageous and is a true inspiration and activist. She is now in good shape, fully recovered and living in England.
Watch her full interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show- http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-october-8-2013/malala-yousafzai