Girl Power

Today is Malala Day, in honor of the young and outspoken schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai who addressed the UN  and celebrating her 16th birthday today.

Shot on the left side of her head on October 9th on her way home from school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, the Taliban and extremists tried to silence her since she became a brave activist for girls education. More than 800 schools in the region have been attacked since 2009, according to government education authorities.

In her speech, she talked about the vicious attack.  “They thought that the bullets would silence us,but they failed.” she said.

‘And then, out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. My dreams are the same.’

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution.” …

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

In both Pakistan and Afghanistan I’ve seen different sort of schools and even though for most of them the standard is nowhere near ours in the West, it’s always been great to see the young children in schools, especially girls, so eager to learn and get educated.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

All the problems I’ve come across, weather it’s maternal health issues like fistula and maternal mortality, poverty, gender discrimination and sexual violence are all linked and would decrease dramatically if education levels would rise. So let’s support Malalai in her fight and help raise our voices for more education for both girls and boys all around the world.

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2 thoughts on “Girl Power

  1. L'Hoyest Elie says:

    Admire the series Wendy. Go on!

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