Education is a right, not a privilege.

image001I am very fortunate to live in America; where men and women are valued as equals and where education is not a privilege but a right. Unfortunately, many girls and women in other countries are not granted these same justices. The most valuable gift any person can receive is an education. In many African and Asian countries, women are discouraged or even forbidden from obtaining an education, in an attempt to spread male dominance and keep women ignorant. Many of these countries, including Pakistan, impose force and violence against women. According to a documentary created by the Department for International Development titled “Afraid and alone: Violence against women in Pakistan”, a woman in Pakistan is raped every two hours, 4,500 women experienced violence during the first 6 months of 2009, and roughly 1000 women are murdering in “honour killings” each year. On October 9th, 2012, a 15 year old schoolgirl known as Malala Yousafzai was shot by a Taliban gunman for speaking up about the rights girls have to be educated. Luckily, Malala survived the trauma, and shortly after became an inspirational activist for global women’s rights, embedded hope and courage within the hearts of women struggling for acceptance. For more information on Malala’s story, click here.

Malala Yousafzai

On her 16th birthday, Malala addressed the United Nations, sending a powerful message to all Americans. “Instead of sending weapons, instead of sending tanks to Afghanistan and all these countries which are suffering from terrorism, send books. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers. This is the only way we can fight for education,” Malala protested. To view her entire speech, click here.  Malala reinforces the principle that education is the pathway to justice and peace. As more women speak up about gender discriminations, awareness and intolerance of these injustices increases. This is crucial for our expanding population, in which women play a critical role. Heroic stories like Malala’s encourage women (and men) to contribute to the fight against gender inequality. What can you do to help?

Pakistani-womens-rights-a-007

  1. Join an organization! There are many organizations dedicated to helping women in Pakistan obtain rights, check them out here!

2.   Donate! Watch Malala’s entire speech above and spread awareness by creating a fundraiser for pens, pencils, and books

3.   Educate yourself! Research women’s rights in depth, and learn about the global injustices women face.

4.   Educate others! There’s no better way to spread awareness than by starting discussions with friends and family and getting them involved too

Works Cited

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24379018

Pictures Cited

http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/12_11/12_19/121911_pakistan.htm

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/mar/08/international-womens-day-feminism

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/03/malala-yousafzai-opens-birmingham-library

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3 Comments

  1. Lauren, your post is so powerfully written! The links and videos really make an impact and allow the reader to find out more. I am especially impressed by the direct examples you give regarding how each of us can make a difference. Bravo!

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