Women and Adversity: Malala Yousafzai
I was delighted to read that Malala Yousafzai, a Muslim from Pakistan, has won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, although she is sharing it with Kailash Satyarthi, a Hindu from India. Malala is the youngest person to ever receive the Peace Prize and the first Pakistani to win it.
Malala has recovered from the point-blank shot to her head October 9, 2012, that the Taliban orchestrated because she spoke openly in favor of educating women. It is an understatement that Ms. Yousafzai is an inspiration to all women, especially young adults. In her 17 years, she has overcome more obstacles than most women have in an entire lifetime. She has shown supreme courage to stand up for what she believes.
Her book, “I am Malala,” recounts growing up in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, a resort area that she describes as the most beautiful place on earth. She loved living there and couldn’t believe that women were being persecuted in areas of Pakistan where the Taliban had taken control.
Her father founded his own school and believed everyone should be educated. Then in 2009 the Taliban infiltrated The Swat Valley and forbid girls to go to school. Malala spoke against the regime and almost lost her life defending the rights of women.
She and her family now live in Birmingham, England, and she continues her quest to make education available for women and fight for rights of children. When she learned she had won the Peace Prize, she said. “A girl is not supposed to be a slave. She has the power to go forward in her life.”
In her speech she said color of a person’s skin, his or her religion or language spoken doesn’t matter. People must be sensitive to others and respect them as human beings. She said we should fight for the rights of every human being. She is truly a remarkable woman, a remarkable human being.