Last Tuesday, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot by members of the Taliban while returning home from school in Mingora, northwestern Swat.
Malala has been campaigning for girls to go to school in Pakistan, despite receiving death threats from the Taliban. Earlier today, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now the UN Special Envoy on Global Education, has launched a petition in her name.
The petition highlights the 34 million girls not currently in school and the 61 million children being shut out of primary education. The petition also “calls on Pakistan to ensure that every girl like Malala has the chance to go to school.” Gordon Brown is highlighting the abuse of rights in Pakistan but also calling on the international community to ensure that all children have access to education by the end of 2015. Mr Brown said he would hand the petition to Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari when he visits Islamabad in November.
While Malala recovers in the hospital, the world is taking responsibility for continuing her message. Gordon Brown stated: “Indeed the protests reveal a world no longer willing to tolerate the gap between the promise of opportunity for all and the reality of 61 million boys and girls shut out from even the most basic of primary schooling.”
Malala, at 14, stands up for children in Pakistan by leading this protest-- demonstrating that children understand the fundamentality of education as a right, and are demanding to learn: “the spontaneous wave of protest we are witnessing shows that children are more assertive of their right to education than the leaders who promised to deliver it.” (Brown)
The Taliban endeavor to make Malala soundless, while we can ensure her message reverberates in every corner of the world. We-- as Global Citizens-- will stand for every child and their basic right to an education.
We are Malala.
Sign the petition to support Malala and help her win this fight at educationenvoy.org.