By Elizabeth Willoughby on
When Taliban gunmen shot Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai on her school bus a month ago, they said it was to set an example. The outspoken student, only 15 years old according to officials at her school, had been advocating for girls’ education and human rights for several years, ignoring warnings to keep quiet.
Despite receiving one bullet in her neck and one in her head, Malala survived the attack. The Taliban’s action has outraged groups and individuals across the world. It has sparked protests, vigils and petitions, including one from UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown demanding that all children attend school by the end of 2015. It has also prompted a national movement in Pakistan to renew commitments to ensure that girls get educated as well as the boys.
Disturbed by Malala’s story, actor and activist Angelina Jolie wrote in an article for The Daily Beast: “This violent and hateful act seems to have accomplished the opposite of its intent, as Pakistanis rally to embrace Malala’s principles and reject the tyranny of fear. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said, ‘Let this be a lesson.’ Yes. Let this be a lesson – that an education is a basic human right, a right that Pakistan’s daughters will not be denied.”
Now recovering at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, online status updates say Malala remains stable and continues to make good progress. The I Am Malala petition calling for “the world’s 61 million out of school children” to be in education by the end of 2015 will be presented to the president of Pakistan one month after the assassination attempt, this Saturday 10 November.
Copyright © 2012 Look to the Stars