The staff at NWHM sends its heartfelt thoughts to the family of Malala Yousafzai, the 14-yeard old Pakistani activist, who was brutally shot in her head and neck by Taliban extremists on her journey home aboard a school bus on Tuesday afternoon. Malala is currently being treated at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology critical care unit in Rawalpindi.
Since age 11, Malala has used her voice to speak out against the increasingly repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, which has sought (among a litany of other repressive measures) to ban education for women. Malala began to chronicle her experiences living under the regime on a blog produced by BBC’s Urdu-language service back in 2009. She described having to wear plain clothes, so as not to bring any attention to herself and run the risk of being exposed for attending school. She and other girls would “hid our books under our shawls,” she wrote. The Taliban eventually forced the closure of her school and she was forced to stay home and forgo her education.
Last year, Malala was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. She was praised for her courageousness in speaking up for girls’ educational rights. She was also awarded Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.
NWHM honors Malala Yousafzai. Our thoughts are with her and her family. We are inspired both by her fearlessness and her remarkable story.