Pakistani girl shot by Taliban for trying to get an education

Courtesy+of+Zyanna+Almonacy%2716+and+Katrina+Rodriguez%2716+Multi+Media+Design

Courtesy of Zyanna Almonacy’16 and Katrina Rodriguez’16 Multi Media Design

Here at Convent of the Sacred Heart, it is easy to take the simple act of learning for granted. Students mark down the days until Thanksgiving, Christmas, March, and finally summer break, rejoicing on snow days and when classes are cancelled for Congé.
Malala Yousfzai  is a 14-year-old who grew up in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, a place that is under strict Taliban regime and a source of conflict and violence. There, education is not something that is dreaded, but coveted.

Courtesy of Zyanna Almonacy’16 and Katrina Rodriguez’16 Multi Media Design

An attempt on Yousfzai’s life was made by the Taliban on the grounds that Malala was “promoting Western culture”  through her desire for education. The teenager was shot in the head while riding in a van on Monday, October 10, and was immediately flown to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.
According to BBC News, Yousafzai’s doctor, Dr. Rosser, is pleased with Malala’s progress. “There’s a long way to go and she is not out of the woods yet… but at this stage we’re optimistic that things are going in the right direction.”
There is little doubt that if Yousafzai makes a full recovery, there will be further assassination attempts. However, Yousfzai’s plight  has now been brought to international attention. She now serves as the face of girl’s education. Richard Robbins, director of the film, Girl Rising, now has a photo of Malala on his desk.
“Education is the only thing that moves us forward,” said Head of School Mrs. Pamela Hayes. “They [the Taliban] are afraid of what their lifestyle will be like if women are educated.”
Yousfzai’s diary documented her yearning for the opportunity to attend school. In this diary, she wrote, “I felt hurt on opening my wardrobe and seeing my uniform, school bag and geometry box. Boys’ schools are opening tomorrow. But the Taliban have banned girls’ education.”
Malala also pointed out the injustices she found in these archaic Taliban regulations. She expressed to a journalist her strong feelings about the ban on education for girls in places under Taliban control. When a journalist from The Los Angeles Times  asked what Yousfzai would do if the Taliban tried to kill her, she said, “I’ll say to them: what you’re doing is wrong.”
In many impoverished areas, girls’ education was once viewed as dangerous. Now however, the difficulty is that few jobs are available for women at the end of their academic career. Richard Robbins however has researched and discovered that the obstacles for girls in places such as Haiti and Sierra Leone now seem to be geographic isolation. Legal restrictions on female education is almost exclusively limited to places under Taliban control or countries under extremist Islamic regimes.
Many believe that the attempt on Malala’s life could help to fuel the education movement in Swat Valley and propose a threat to the Taliban. Hopefully, Malala is not risking her life in vain.
“They are going to put themselves at great risk. They are the martyrs for the cause. Somebody may lose a life over a principle like this,” said Mrs. Hayes.  “It will be wonderful if her bravery really inspires other young girls and people to stand up in the face of terrorism and threats of death.”
 
– Hannah Godvin & Madeline Pillari, News Editors