By Midwa Ojire
While it is true that one can’t throw a rock these days without coming across the achievements of young adults, Malala Yousafzai, a 21-year-old Pakistani activist, has proven herself a fresh voice with her passion to advocate for girls’ education and equality.
UNESCO reports that, twice as many girls as boys will never start school, unveiling that girls are still the first to be denied the right to education despite all the efforts and progress made over the past 20 years.
But clearly, excluding girls isn’t the only injustice in education. Innocent girls, especially in the Arab States, may fail to go to school as a result of conflicts in the region. Ten years ago, Malala had been living in terrorism and violence, firing and bombing became her daily wake-up call.
“As an11 year old, I worried about my future and my freedom. All I wanted was to put on my ink-stained scarf, walk through the streets, sit on our old wooden chairs inside these cracked walls, pick my pen, open my book,” Malala reflects in her blog.
In 2012, Malala was shot in an attempt to stop her from speaking out for girl’s education. Denying the right to education can be the world’s most dreadful crime. Malala, the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, aims to change the tides by helping girls to get at least 12 years of safe, free and quality education. She is standing for something many us are yet to relate, equipping girls with the tools they need to create change in their communities.
If one girl can change the world, what can millions of girls do if they are empowered through education? Whatever you thought you knew about empowerment, it’s time to know more.
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