A pioneer in women’s rights

In America, we are all given the same opportunities for education, but can you imagine not being able to go to school because of your gender? Malala Yousafzai lived this reality and more.

When Yousafzai was 14, she was gunned down by a Taliban operative because of her activism for women’s education in Pakistan. Yousafzai knew that the Taliban issued an execution order for her, but she never really believed that they would follow through with the deed until that day on the school bus. The Taliban sent a gunman who shot
Yousafzai in the neck and the head while she was on a bus.

Amazingly, Yousafzai survived the severe injuries, left Pakistan and moved to England. Recently, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous work for women’s education in Pakistan, and on Oct. 10, she won the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

According to the campaignforeducationusa.org, Pakistan is not the only country that doesn’t offer female education. In sub-Saharan Africa, four out of five women do not receive education at all.

In my opinion, female and male education are important and should be considered equal. To receive an education is the opportunity for an individual to progress physically and mentally.

Certain nations hinder women from getting educated and stop the progression of women in that region.

I think Yousafzai is a hero. Through her insurmountable courage, she was able to achieve what most people won’t do, which is bring awareness to people so young Pakistani girls can receive an education.

I believe the men in Pakistan are afraid of women being educated in their society because this means things will have to change. No longer will women be seen as secondary but as the primary head of household.

I appreciate and respect women who want to be a mother and wife, but women should aspire to be more than that. I applaud Yousafzai for having the courage to further her education because most girls in her situation would not.

I always knew that one day, I would attend college and maybe become a fashion designer or a lawyer. I never dreamed of just being a stay-at-home-wife because I wanted more out of my life. My true goal was to be an educated young woman.

As cliché as it sounds, knowledge is power, and this power is what the Taliban was trying to take when they shot Yousafzai, but they did not succeed.

Unfortunately, Yousafzai did not receive the Nobel Prize, but her story has inspired so many young women and people around the world.