Guest Blogger – Imali Bandara served as a Girl Up intern from 2012-2013.
You see a girl. We see the future.
Over the years, as the movement for adolescent girls has grown, these words have become a mantra here at Girl Up. In light of the tragic news we heard yesterday, we feel that they’ve never held truer than in the case of Malala Yousafzai.
Malala, a 14 year-old girl from Pakistan, is a strong advocate for girls’ education and an inspiration to us all. She was first featured in the news when she wrote a diary for BBC Urdu about her experiences as a Pakistani schoolgirl living in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban closed over 200 girls’ schools while keeping the boys’ schools open. While Malala’s diary revealed the struggles associated with trying to pursue an education in a place where girls aren’t a priority, it also demonstrated Malala’s courage and determination for a better future for herself. Despite the dangers of being a girl in the Swat Valley, Malala continues to fight for her right to an education.
Yesterday, Malala suffered a devastating tragedy when she was attacked for being such a strong advocate for girls’ rights. When we heard the news that she had been shot, it was a grave reminder of the importance of advancing girls’ rights everywhere.
As we approach the first-ever International Day of the Girl tomorrow, we will be thinking of Malala and hoping for a speedy recovery. While we are celebrating and advocating for girls around the world, let’s all think of Malala as we continue to show the world that girls matter.
Together we are stronger.