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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Malala Yousafzai is Only 14 Years Old - She's Now an Icon for Women of the World

There's absolutely no explanation for the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, 14, a Muslim girl, who was on her way to school.  Yet, she was the target of evil Taliban terrorists in Pakistan. 

Gunmen singled Malala out for execution, while she rode a school bus. Although she was known for being outspoken about Taliban tyranny against women, she never did anything to harm anyone.

Now, Malala and her family are tragically awaiting the status of her (hopeful) recovery. As a result of the meaningless assassination attempt, Malala is now an international icon for women's rights. She's much larger than a young girl trying to educate herself and inspire other Muslim girls to do likewise. Indeed, it's possible the 14 year old Malala, a Pakistani girl, may even make a difference for millions of women in the world who strive to improve themselves against tyranny. Maybe.

 By surviving (please God), Malala may do more to help Muslim women than the charismatic female leader Benazir Bhutto was unable to accomplish in her lifetime. Bhutto was assassinated in a bombing on 27 December 2007, during a campaign event while running for the office of Pakistani Prime Minister.  Interesting, Bhutto was the daughter of a politically successful Pakastini family who, was educated and previously had held elected positions in the government, before she was forced to live in exile.  She was well aware of her risk of assassination in 2007, while campaigning in Pakistan.  Her violent death was mourned, but the incident did not change anything for women in Pakistan. In fact, the government seems to have become more repressive toward women.

By shooting Malala while she was on her way to school, the Taliban have demonstrated their intolerance of women to the entire world. Her shooting forced Pakistani government officials to respond by offering support to her family while avenging the murderous attempt.

Other Muslim girls are inspired to take up Malala's cause for education.

It baffles me to no end how conservative movements throughout the world target women for discrimination.  An analogy is, of course, the American conservative movement's "war on women" when they collectively intend to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, including access to reproductive health care.  Right wing extremists who want to deny women the right to access reproductive health care are repressive.  Bombing abortion clinics is no different than attacking a school bus carrying girls to school.

Even more baffling is how some American women join political movements that support policies outside our best health and educational interests.  In other words, I don't get how women can vote for men who speak ignorantly, like Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri, about rape. Akin weirdly distinguished this violent act against women as somehow having a special attribute, called  "forcible rape", when women's bodies magically protect against pregnancy. Some Missouri women have forgiven Akin. Perhaps Akin can be forgiven, but not enough to vote for him.

We are praying for Malala's complete recovery, as she holds on to life after the removal of a Taliban bullet lodged in her neck. Undoubtedly, her recovery will take many months of rehabilitation to determine the extent of her injuries. Nonetheless, with every breath Malala takes, she continues to inspire women throughout the world, who instinctively know they might be a moment away from becoming a victim of violence, just because of their sex.

When we pray for Malala's recovery, we're also praying for the elimination of discrimination of women throughout the world, regardless of their socio-economic background or political affiliation.

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Blogger Jacques said...

Well said.

7:18 AM  

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