Tag Archives: Malala Yousufzai

10 Women Who Shaped the Future

(CNN) – The women of the year helped bring the economy back from the brink, worked against tyranny, and championed equality, education and justice. Most of all, they helped open our eyes to how much remains to be done.

Malala Yousafzai

If 2012 was the year most of us first heard about the 14-year-old Pakistani girl, it was 2013 when we learned nobody could silence her, especially not the cowardly Taliban men who tried to kill her.

Malala had become a vocal advocate of the right of all girls to an education, a frightening prospect for the Taliban. In October 2012, machine-gun toting extremists walked onto a school van, asked for Malala, then shot her in the face.

Instead of intimidating her, the Taliban turned her into their own worst nightmare — a powerful girl more admired and articulate than ever.

This year we found that Malala’s impact is just beginning. As a leading candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, her advocacy for girls inspires hope around the world. And she’s just getting started.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot

What is it about macho politicians who get so scared of brave women?

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s suppression of the political opposition spurred an unlikely force, the defiantly named punk rock group Pussy Riot. The female band protested Putin’s increasing authoritarianism. When five of them broke out into an anti-Putin song, “Punk Prayer,” at Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral, two of them — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina — were arrested and put in prison.

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Take a Stand for the Girl Who Stood Up: Nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize

Please take a second and petition for Malala to win the Nobel Peace Prize Here

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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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