Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Malala Yousufzai’s courageous blogging against the Taliban set her apart from other 14-year-old Pakistani girls. She paid the price this week as Taliban fighters pulled over her school van and shot her along with two girl classmates.
As I read this article this afternoon and my stomach, heart and soul all sank.
‘Half the Sky’ was aired last week by PBS. This 4-hour documentary created by the Putlizer prize winning journalists and authors of the book ‘Half the Sky’ Nicholas Kristoff and Cheryl DuWunn has raised the awareness and conversation of oppression against women and girls. The Half the Sky movement first raises the awareness of how big and horrific the level of oppressioin that still exists for so many girls and women in the work. Then they tell stories of inspiration and hope as to who and what is being done to lift this oppression and create opportunity for hundreds of millions of girls and women to live healthier meaningful lives.
And then, – young Malala, a hero in this important dialogue – is shot on her school bus by the very people who oppress her.
Earlier this year Malala was awarded Pakistan’s first national peace prize for her blogging about the Taliban’s banning of education for girls.
I read a thread of her blog and am overwhelmed by her courage and perseverance in the face of real threat and danger.
You can read her blog entries here.
In the CNN article referenced above there is a quote which gives voice to how this Taliban act of violence effects the forward progress of lifting women out of oppression. “Dark hands,” she said, tried to attack Malala’s cause, “but it will discourage many others who are fighting for light.”
We can not let this discourage all those who work to lift and empower girls and women who thirst for education and the ability to participate in the global economy in order to bring a better life for their children and themselves. This truly is a battle of ‘light vs. darkness’.
The light must continue to shine.