Today, Nick Kristof Tweeted this:
“My column on the best weapon against extremism, educated girls.” Here is that column. It’s about Malala Yousafzai, the a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot down by Pakistani Taliban because she stood up for educating girls. Writes Kristof:
They shot Malala because girls’ education threatens everything that they stand for. The greatest risk for violent extremists in Pakistan isn’t American drones. It’s educated girls.
“This is not just Malala’s war,” a 19-year-old female student in Peshawar told me. “It is a war between two ideologies, between the light of education and darkness.”
On the first International Day of the Girl, we can’t ignore that this notion is too hard to swallow. That we have our own problems. That these monsters in the Middle East will always torture their women. There has to be some light if a girl like Malala can exist. And if a girl like her can stand up for her beliefs then we have to argue and pass along her story. For her. Because it’s this, and this and then the next thing we know, a 14-year-old is getting shot execution style on her SCHOOL BUS because she wants to receive an education.
But it’s not just in Afghanistan. Or in Pakistan. In Bangladesh, as Annie Urban, who writes the blog PhDinParenting, wrote about the cycle of poverty and abuse (as well as how you can help)–particularly for child domestic workers who she spoke to while she was there. These children start working for other families at six years old, often waking up at six in the morning and not going to sleep until midnight. Above is the photo of a group of girls she met in a youth club in Bangladesh. Girls with dreams.
And lastly, according to NBC girls in over 50 countries will be married off as a child bride by the time they are eight years old. I would consider that not so much marriage. I’d consider that rape.
So today, I’ve never felt as heavy about struggles of girls, not just in our country, but internationally. And as difficult as a topic this is, we have to use this day to bring about this awareness, even if it means sitting within our own discomfort.
Nick Kristof mentions these places to donate and help. ” I’ve seen their schools and how they transform girls — and communities.”
(Image: Annie Urban)