There are people in this world who believe that women are an inferior gender, and do not deserve an education.
There are people in this world who will threaten, maim and even kill to protect and perpetuate this belief.
There are areas in the world where girls have been banned from attending school.
…but there is a strong, determined voice speaking out against them.
Malala Yousafzai was adamant about her right to an education. She didn’t care if she had to sit on the floor all she wanted was to be able to learn.
She spoke out, she continued to attend school and she even shared through the BBC her beliefs about the Taliban’s rule and the right of every person to an education.
The louder her voice echoed around the world, the stronger the threats against her became.
Most people when faced with intimidation from a frightening group of people blatantly and explicitly threatening their life would at the very least question their ongoing course of action. Many I’m sure would turn down the volume on their protests or even become silent, at least for a period of time.
But Malala was undeterred, remaining true to her firm belief that every person had a right to be educated, herself included.
Then in October 2012, when Malala was only 12 years old, the threats became a reality.
Malala was on the way home from school when Taliban gunmen stopped the bus she was on, and opened fire. She was shot at point blank range in the head.
Following several days where she was unconscious and her condition critical, she improved enough to be air lifted to the UK where her recovery was nothing short of miraculous.
Incredibly even though she had been inches from death, Malala’s indomitable spirit was not shaken.
She was as determined as ever to continue on her mission to ensure that every child on the planet receives an education….no mean feat given that there are currently 61 million around the world who currently do not.
Today is Malala’s 16th birthday, and how is she celebrating? A music concert? A dinner out with her friends? A sweet sixteen party? No.
Today Malala Yousafzai is celebrating by addressing the UN in New York, urging the world to give every child an education. She will be presenting them with a petition that over 3 million people have signed supporting her cause.
…this week alone over 500,000 people have added their names to a new petition raising their voices in support of this courageous girl and the message she is determined to share with the world. To add your name to the petition, simply visit: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/every_child_in_school_global/?dLLxTbb
Already named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize and the recipient of Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize, today has now been marked as Malala Day in her honour.
Please take the time to watch these short videos telling Malala’s story:
So today I would like you to join me in honouring and celebrating Malala, her courage, her spirit, her inspiration to so many around the world, showing the power of a single voice sharing a powerful truth against incredible odds. This cause is not Malala’s, it is the responsibility of all of us, to ensure that every child has the opportunity to an education. I hope Malala has inspired you as much as she has inspired me.
As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with 3 simple details:
- Who is your Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow? (Her / his name and location in the world)
- Why is she / he a Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow to YOU? (How do you know her / him? What does she / he do? In what way is she / he inspiring?)
- A photo or link to a picture of her / him online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)
So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women and men who inspire YOU. …and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!