Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Make School Safe for Girls Everywhere

(CNN) – Tuesday was a tragic day for girls everywhere. In Pakistan, 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school on a bus. Although she was targeted specifically because she spoke out against the Taliban’s suppression of women’s education rights, her story serves as a reminder of the obstacles that girls face in trying to obtain schooling.

In all my travels, from Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to villages and towns across rural India, I have been struck by the unwavering commitment of every girl to do one simple thing: Go to school.

Just like Malala, the girls I met know that education is their ticket to a better future: for themselves, their families and their entire communities.

Girls would beg their parents to let them stay one more year in school, struggling to juggle their household chores with caring for their younger siblings, all so they can squeeze in one more day in the classroom.

Unfortunately, girls around the world have also shared with me how pursuing an education can be dangerous, whether it’s because of harassment and violence from teachers or the dangers they encounter as they walk to school.

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Rape Victim Forced to marry Rapist

Kabul (CNN) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai received a petition Sunday with nearly 5,000 names endorsing a plea for the immediate release of a rape victim who has been jailed because of her attack and is being forced to marry her rapist.

Kim Motley, a lawyer for 21-year-old Gulnaz, said the palace received the petition, which gathered 4,751 names in just over 48 hours, on Sunday afternoon. The petition comes with an official plea for clemency addressed to the president, who has the power to immediately pardon Gulnaz, currently in jail for adultery because her attacker was married at the time of the attack.

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