You have probably heard of Malala Yousafzai, the (now) 16 year-old Pakistani Girl who stood up to the ultra-Religious (and Terrorist) Taliban. The Taliban have been in-and-out of real power, in Pakistan, over the past decade; however, more recently, it appears that they have become more forceful. That is, however, except when they could not–and still cannot–over-power the Young Malala.
The Taliban seems to mandate that Women and Girls should have no rights–no education; no jobs; certainly no driving; no shopping or even being outside their homes. Apparently, they are expected to perform housework, bare children and work in the Family’s fields. All decisions and power are placed with the Men of the Family.
Last year, a Taliban Terrorist shot Malala in the face on a school bus. She has been recovering ever since, with her Family, in England. She spoke, several weeks ago, before the UN General Assembly. Yesterday, she was named the recipient of this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, by the European Parliament. Now, the Nobel Peace Prize is another matter.
Last year, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee caught a lot of flack for awarding it to the European Union. For what? Last year, Malala was the Emotional Favorite; but, she was passed-over. Now, this year, that same Committee in Norway awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), a watchdog group, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands. Realizing that this was a way for the International Community to voice its concern over Chemical Weapons; however, I still believe that this was just one more Travesty.
Let’s face it: in many parts of the World, both Women and Girls are considered second-class–if not truly considered, more or less, baggage. The Men in some societies seem to fear being challenged. Why should they be? Is it because they are not up to the challenge? But, Malala certainly provided that challenge, and Women all over the World seem to applaud her Courage–to stand-up for what is right. That’s why many People, of all genders, have been rooting for Malala to win the Peace Prize.
Some fear that winning such an esteemed prize, at such an early age, would have been too much for her to bare. Sure, she can stand-up to a terrorist bullet and inspire Women and Girls around-the-World; but…she can’t carry a well-earned reputation with her through life? NONSENSE!
I believe the Sakharov Committee said it best, in announcing this year’s award winner: EU Parliament President, Martin Schultz called Malala a: “brave advocate for education” who “reminds us of our duty toward children, and especially girls”. Shouldn’t protecting and advocating for freedom of thought be the foremost of all Human Rights to protect?
NOTE: The linked article, from USA Today, is as follows: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/10/09/malala-pakistan-nobel-peace-prize/2951065/