Opinion

Malala Yousafzai, shot by Taliban, still campaigning for women's education

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Education,Pakistan,Ashe Schow,War on Women,Malala Yousafzai,Taliban

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani activist who was shot in the head two years ago, has not slowed down in her quest to bring education to girls around the world.

In a video released Tuesday, Yousafzai called on people around the world to celebrate “Malala Day” on July 14 and show that they are not afraid of the people who tried to silence Yousafzai and others fighting for human rights.

“This is a story of strength,” Yousafzai says at the beginning of the video.

Children then recall the story of Yousafzai wanting to obtain an education while Images of children in classrooms and footage from Yousafzai’s shooting are shown.

“They were afraid education would give her power,” one of the children says.

On her website, Malala.org, Yousafzai says Malala Day (which takes place on her birthday) is a chance to “raise our voices for those under oppression, to show our own power and that courage is stronger than their campaign of fear.”

On her birthday last year, Yousafzai spoke about the need for education before the United Nations. And although much of the mainstream media has since forgotten about this brave young woman, it has not stopped her from continuing her activism.

In October 2013, one year after she was shot by the Taliban while traveling to school, Yousafzai received the prestigious human rights award known as the Sakharov Prize. She was also a finalist for the Nobel Peace Prize, although she did not win.

Yousafzai is asking people around the world to participate with the Twitter hashtag “#StrongerThan” to send a message that they are “stronger than the enemies of education ... than fear, hatred, violence and poverty.”

Even though the hashtag will probably disappear into the Internet like so many before it, at least we know that Yousafzai will continue her fight for human rights.

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