The United Nations today marked the first International Day of the Girl Child. This International Day was designated by a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2011 to recognize girls’s rights, draw attention to the challenges they face around the world, and help advance their lives and opportunities.
Although this year’s theme was “Ending Child Marriage”, it was marked by the Taliban attack on Tuesday against a group of girls in Pakistan who were heading home after school. 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai -who remains in critical condition after receiving a shot to the neck- was the target, because she had enraged the Taliban speaking openly in a blog against the militants, who regularly use terror, in this region of Swat to encourage girls to stay at home instead of going to school. The militias stopped the van that was taking Malala and other girls home, they asked which one was Malala, and then opened fire. The attack has shocked the world and many politicians and artists everywhere have openly spoken against the Taliban. Madonna had the name “Malala” written on her back during a concert in Los Angeles and dedicated a song to her.
Malala, who last year won Pakistan’s first National Peace Prize for her online writing, with her courage is inspiring young people in Pakistan to stand up against the Taliban. Her fight for girls’ rights has now become a fight for her life, but her example is sure to remain forever.
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To see an interview with Malala last year:
This is a short documentary by The New York Times about Malala Yousufzai, when she was just 11 years old, and was already a firm defender of her right to an education, despite the hardships and constant threats from the Taliban.