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Women In Afghanistan And Pakistan

A young girl in Pakistan, hero to many—“Malala,” shot by the Taliban. We’ll look at what women face in Pakistan—and in Afghanistan as the US prepares to go.

Pakistani children pray for the recovery of 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot on Tuesday by the Taliban for speaking out in support of education for women, during a candlelight vigil in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. A Pakistani military spokesman says Yousufzai is in "satisfactory" condition but cautions that the next few days will be critical. Writing reads on the poster left, "Malala Yousufzai."(AP)

Pakistani children pray for the recovery of 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot on Tuesday by the Taliban for speaking out in support of education for women, during a candlelight vigil in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. A Pakistani military spokesman says Yousufzai is in “satisfactory” condition but cautions that the next few days will be critical. Writing reads on the poster left, “Malala Yousufzai.”(AP)

The girls were singing on their school bus in northwest Pakistan, we’re told, when the Taliban gunmen climbed aboard last week. And they shot 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai.

Malala. A national hero to many in Pakistan, who championed something so simple – education for girls. The Taliban shot her in the head for promoting “Western thinking”.

They’ve said they’ll shoot her again. She survives so far. Barely. But what about the hopes of women in Pakistan and, when the US goes, in Afghanistan next door?

This hour, On Point: the Taliban, Malala, and nations of women under the gun.

-Tom Ashbrook


Owais Tohid, a Pakistani journalist, he currently heads a leading television state in Pakistan, ARY News. You can read his first-hand account of his dealings with Malala here.

Samina Ahmed, South Asia project director for the International Crisis Group.

Andeisha Farid, founder and Executive Director of Afghan Child Education and Caring Organization.

Beena Sarwar, leading Pakistan journalist, focused on human rights, gender, and peace issues.

From Tom’s Reading List

Foreign Policy “The Taliban blow up Sufi shrines; worshippers at mosques; and men, women, and children in markets. They go for maximum carnage, taking dozens of lives either with the help of remote-controlled bombs or by luring in dazed, brainwashed nutcases to commit suicide in public by detonating dynamite strapped around their waists. The Taliban have also targeted specific individuals: senior police officials, politicians, captured soldiers, journalists, and even some religious scholars belonging to Muslim sects and sub-sects that the Taliban consider heretical. Now, add to this list of victims a 14-year-old schoolgirl specifically targeted because the Taliban think she ridiculed and defied the dictates ordained by God and his scriptures.”

Huffington Post “Malala simply wanted to go to school and get an education. Religious extremists, citing Sharia law, viewed that as a war against their self-appointed authority as the keepers of Islamic law and targeted her to be killed. The Taliban of Pakistan waylaid her school van, jumped aboard, verified her identity and opened fire on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Before the van driver was able to speed away, fourteen-year-old Malala lay bleeding with shots to her head.”

Christian Science Monitor “Just a few moments before, she said, the girls had been singing a traditional Pushto folk song on their way back from school, its lyrics vowing sacrificing their lives for their motherland, the beautiful valley of Swat.”

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  • AC

    everytime i think we’re finally progressing as a species, i’m reminded how far behind we really are. & how lucky i’ve been to live where i do….

    • TinaWrites

      Watching the man (Felix Baumgartner?) who parachuted from the balloon, right at the edge of outer space, where he hoped to drop at a speed greater than the speed of sound, while I KNEW that this had just happened to this young girl, was cognitively dissonant, to say the least!

  • RolloMartins

    Malala would have been a much better choice for the Nobel Peace Prize than the EU.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I’ll bet that their are millions of men and children who are suffering in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


    We aren’t doing so hot for women in this country, can’t even promise them equal pay for equal work.


    Why should we be all that concerned about the plight of women in unfriendly or marginally friendly countries on the other side of the planet?

    • northeaster17

      We all the same species and we share the same planet. A planet that supports us all. Way back when we could close our eyes to what happens elsewhere. Those days are long long gone.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/razia.husain Razia Husain

    As a young Pakistani girl, I remember having a tacit fight with the society on what I could learn and where I could go to learn. My parents, like Malala’s, were very supportive but the society was not. Wrapped in white ‘chador’, we waged our crusade then, and it is heartbreaking to see that she still has to fight that war that should have long been won!
    Urban women in Pakistan are well educated, and usually more so than men because they are not under pressure to earn money right away and have some time at their hand before they get married. But the rural areas and those under Taliban are a different story.Pakistani nation has this ONE chance to root out extremism in ALL forms, whether it is women education or bombings of Sufi mausoleums or temples of other religions. This is the time for Pakistanis to TAKE A STAND! 

  • Davesix6

    What a stark contrast between this nation, and nations like Pakistan!

    It’s so easy to take all we have in this country for granted, I am certianly guilty.

    Malala and her plight reminds me of all we have to be thankful for here, women and men.

    • TinaWrites

      Yes, we have so much to be thankful for!  We also have to be extremely vigilant if we want to retain that feeling.  I’m only just learning about ALEC, which is a group that is honing in on our states.  Recently, I think they saw some kind of internal coup, so things might be better now, I’m not sure.  But a lot of their agenda is to impose their laws and tweaks to laws and Constitutional amendments, right down to the Constitutions of the States.  They work secretly and behind closed doors.  We must all be vigilant to be able to remain thankful.

      I was going to say that I had experienced living in a sharia-law-like state when I first moved to this New England state from the open, non-prejudiced New York City area where I grew up.  It was a huge shock, even tho I knew this area from college.  But, I realized that that sharia-law-like quality that I felt here was only at the “private level”.  I wasn’t very political at the time, so I may be slightly wrong on this point, but, in thinking about it now, I don’t think that the sharia-like thing had actually eaten into the LAWS of the State.  I think there was still a separation of church and State, as there should be, since that concept is associated with the founder of this state more than any other.  But, once again, with groups behind groups behind groups, we MUST be vigilant.  I’ve never been a conspiracy theory person, but apparently, I need to check around for some conspiracies that are now able to build adherents even quicker because of the speed of communication.  I think I have really good, thoughtful, reliable, fact-checked news sources, but I must still seek out information myself, fact-check it, and remain vigilant.

      Sorry that this is depressing.  It IS depressing.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    I pray for this courageous lady. I hope she would live to fulfill her dreams. I hope someone including the corrupt Pakistan government will around up these barbaric murderers and prosecute them in military court.

  • MRyb

    What is the murder rate for men compared to women in Pakistan? surely the death rate is significantly higher for 14 year old boys than girls? Is it then appropriate to single out the safety of women? Would it be a global news story if a 14 year old boy was killed? Isn’t that sexism in itself? 

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Do you have statistics? What IS the murder rate for 14 year old boys vs girls?

      And yes, it would be a global news story if the Taliban shot a 14 year old boy in the head at close range because he publically dared challenge their control of the people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.gogel Katherine Aaishah Gogel

    I lived in Swat as a child during the 1960s when it was still a princely state governed by the Wali of Swat. It was such a progressive and beautiful mountainous valley. The Wali set up a telegraph system so that there would be quick communication from the northern town of Kalam through to Mingora. He set up schools for all children. Now it is a shame that the Taleban have so much power to destroy the infrastructure of this amazing place also known as the ‘Switzerland’ of Pakistan. I was last there in the summer of 2008. I really am proud of Malala and pray for her recovery. Let this attack stir the people up to bring stability back to Swat.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Where did the idea of education of girls come from for Swat?  (I missed the first few minutes, so maybe it’s out there.)  From the central government, PPP or PML (N) or another?  Apparently not just Malala, but many girls who were to be seen on American TV in unison saying that they are for Malala and for being educated.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       I think your answer was posted at the same time as your post.

      Another instance where adherence to a religion by a fringe group has devastating effects on an entire population.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    We need more springs throughout the world.  The people who seek to control everyone around them need to be reminded daily of individual rights.

  • TinaWrites

    The current Masterpiece Theater may be fictionalizing a program, but I think it is at least referring to real programs that worked to get Jewish children out of Germany (and other continental European countries?) just before (and still after?) World War II broke out.  


    Back to the show:  Monies were raised, because Britain refused to let the children into their country without a pre-payment as assurance that the children would not become “wards of the State”.  Families were found who would take the children in (I’m not sure if the children’s parents had to give up their parental rights — when you read my suggestion, please note that I would advocate for non-abusive parents to retain their parental rights).  Arrangements were finally firm enough that the first children could come in, escaping, at least in this fictional version, sometime after Kristallnacht.Could the U.S. and its Allies do something comparable for Afghani girls?  It would be horrible to separate them from their families, but that might be necessary because of the worldwide economic downturn (Unless our 1-2 top % were wondering what to do with their money!!!  OR, UNLESS WE TAXED THAT 1-2% WITH THIS SPECIFIC PROGRAM IN MIND!!!!!).  OR, another way to fund this:  instead of spending money on war and its destruction (to both sides), our governmental coffers could pay for this program.Also, the Taliban might see that an Afghanistan devoid of girls would mean an Afghanistan unable to replenish its population.  THAT might stop them from their madness?  Getting the girls out could protect them (we’d have to be vigilant about security for them wherever they went!!).  The girls would be allowed to choose if they wanted to stay in their new countries or return to Afghanistan.  IF the girls wanted to return eventually, they would be educated; the Taliban may have lost tons of support (ALL their support, would be best!), so maybe a New Afghanistan could begin, with these girls serving in major political offices, educational positions, etc.)DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THEIR ARE PROGRAMS LIKE THIS ALREADY IN THE WORKS?  

    • BHA_in_Vermont


      I think there is a big difference between:
      - Spiriting a relatively small number out of Nazi Germany, all of whom were targeted due to their religion


      - The entire pre-adult female population of Afghanistan (and Pakistan)

      • Ellen Dibble

        I noticed the grassroots way the rescue of Jewish children began, with one schoolteacher called a connection to say she saw a problem and might help, even with one child under her school’s roof, and it went forth, one person’s will, then two, then three, against a room full of pleading letters.  That was very moving.  In the case of women in the undeveloped world who are being abused and oppressed in various appalling ways — it’s a different challenge.  If all Afghan girls came here, I suppose it would constitute a kind of genocide of Afghanistani people.  Who would do the reproducing once the women are gone?

        • TinaWrites

          Hi, Ellen!  In my Pollyanna mindset, the reproducing would still be done by the young girls who left once they came back.  My idea is that the shock of what happened to their whole world due to their OWN mindsets is suddenly so clear to the male  Afghani FOLLOWERS of the Taliban, that they BREAK AWAY FROM THE TALIBAN, refusing to follow.  We’ve probably all had moments of Great Insight when FINALLY one of our Firm Viewpoints DROPS AWAY.  That Firm Viewpoint can be something Negative OR something TOO Positive (“Iron Rod” is, apparently, the word the Mormons use for a Too Positive Viewpoint that is Too Entrenched, Too Unmoveable.  It was applied to Mitt Romney in his early evangelical days, according to the recent Frontline show about him and President Obama).  I envision these individual Epiphanies occurring to the FOLLOWERS of Taliban, leaving only a handful or two of hard-core Taliban leaders in all of Afghanistan.  And THEY are by then, unable to recruit.  The girls come back enmeshed in the beginnings of education, or more educated, depending on how long this takes.  Afghanistan is THEN ready for schools for all, medical care for all, humanitarian services for all, etc., to the point that they SET IT UP FOR THEMSELVES, with other countries helping as mentors.  

          Yes!! You are SO right about how moving it was that one woman realized she needed to reach out with her idea.  That’s why I knew I wanted to reach out with my idea.  I’m too ill to do much more than that unless I can think of some well-placed calls to make.  But that trickle of action that becomes a flood:  it can be SO effective.  The European Jews were NOT provided with much of that kind of flooding.  There is a tragic story that FDR sent a major ocean liner away from our shores.  I’m not sure why Eleanor was unable to turn HIM around.  DOES ANYONE KNOW?  That story is one where the flood is damned up (spelled incorrectly on purpose!)

          This season of Upstairs/Downstairs is so rich with messages from the actual past:  again, sometimes we see Truth better thru Fiction.  And you are so right:  that pile of letters from European Jews requesting help was so moving!  We get the talking heads on Faux News distorting Truth:  we need graphic images reporting on the Actual Truths!  

          Also, wouldn’t the cost of Saving the Girls and Educating Them be better than Giving Dick Cheney and also the Mercenaries Tons of Profits and Power?!!!  

          My ONLY reservation is this:  I am appalled at how much the world has been destabilized by COLONIZATION over the centuries.  My idea would need to be COMPLETELY SENSITIVE SO THAT IT WOULD AVOID REVERSE-COLONIZATION (meaning:  we wouldn’t want to educate the girls into being ashamed of their own culture.  We wouldn’t want to do what the Mass. Bay Colony did when they enforced Praying Towns on the Native Americans!!!)  Most of that would have to come from the girls’ Free Choice at all levels of participation.  There would need to be major discussions to weed out ANY reverse-colonization!  ANY!

      • TinaWrites

        I chose Afghanistan because it is not our ally, and Pakistan has betrayed us in spite of being our ally.  The program would never be able to secure the entire female population of Afghanistan, but it could be a goal.

        My idea also came from that Ancient Greek play (that I always forget the name of) where the wives (on an island, I think) are sick and tired of war, so they go on sexual strike against their husbands.  Most Greek stories have some basis in truth, but even if this one does not, depriving the Afghani males of their future partners might be rivetting to their mindsets.

        Back to the USA:  we are spending so much money over there and not enough horrific stuff is stopped long enough to really be worth spending all that money.  So, this MAY work out! (Another topic altogether:  how Western colonialism provoked Taliban behavior in the first place.  But that gets put off to the side when young girls are so abused and denied by their own.)

        I’d rather give U.S.f money to vetted caring parents and vetted professional teachers than to OUR OWN military-industrial complex!  So MANY “complexes” could be broken to pieces with an idea like this.

        I DO think that the British plan (however it actually worked out), probably had fewer roadblocks in its way than anything beneficent we might want to do today.  

        Also, in the TV version of this plan, one character says that already — when the Brits are just starting their program — tens of thousands of people have already lost their chances.  IF that character had had the chance to expand the program, I’m sure he/she would have fought to do so.  In other words, it was earlier neglect and mis-interpretation of the evidence that kept the program small, not need or reality or even British national security. 

        You say, “all of whom were targeted due to their religion”.  The girls targeted by the Taliban are also targeted due to religion:  they are expected to agree with the literalist Sharia-law religious views of the Taliban, so even tho the wider designation of the religion (Islam) is not different, the designation by sect IS different.  Remember the horrid “Christian” wars of the Protestants versus the Catholics. 

        In spite of my lengthy reply, thanks for your thoughts!  

    • TinaWrites

      The wife of the former president of Roger Williams University right in my own state, brought older Afghani girls to the US to study in college.  I’m afraid that I don’t know much more about her program, but I think my knowledge that her program was in my thoughts along with the Masterpiece Theater/World War II idea.  I’m talking about getting MUCH younger girls out, and possibly getting them out for their whole lives, definitely their lives during pre-school thru 12th grade. 

    • TinaWrites

      I just heard a guest or caller say that the US sends tons of money over to Afghanistan for education, but that NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THE MONEY GOES.  With my program, most of the money would be used by the U.S. and its Allies — so, certainly, funds would be easier to track against fraud and corruption!!!

  • Ali Khan

    Its mind boggling to see the ‘free hand’ given to the Talibans in Pakistan to make open threats that they will kill Malala’s father now.  It cannot be more shameful than this.  Pakistanis, please stand up to this homegrown terror, when will you, when its your daughter?

  • Farrukh Najmi

    The Taliban menace in Pakistan cannot be routed militarily alone as long as religion has a stranglehold on people’s minds and plays a role in affairs of state. Enforcing the rule of law has to be first and foremost. Education (specially of girls) is the best place to start. Secularism needs to be promoted in the education. These are exactly what the Taliban are scared stiff off. Ultimately the goal should be for “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” to change its constitution to become just “Republic of Pakistan” where Islam happens to be a religion followed by many of its citizens.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Could it be that the jihadi/Taliban methodology has to do with provoking fear (as cited above), and really over the top.  And in a day of global connectivity, this backfires, because 7 billion people are not made terrified.  Even a huge terrorist action, such as 9/11, if the object was to get us to overreact, well, we maybe did so, but the publicity given to jihad, it seems to me, was counterproductive.  Many more people, Muslim and otherwise, gave voice to their vehement objections to such tactics.  If they want to make a case for purdah, they can use reason like everyone else.   For instance, the girls in Swat might have been terrified into submission a decade ago, but now they know the world is aware of the situation, pretty quick, and they take courage from that, it seems to me.

    • Ellen Dibble

      It seems to me drones are a separate issue, and conflating it with anger among the people in the northwest territories is not necessarily a winning position.  That is another argument.  Just as one person insulting Muslims does not conflate to everyone within the country or countries associated with that provocative individual being part of the abusive remark.  People can see the difference, but there may be anger at the West.  Aiman Al Zawahiri (spelling?) has been said over the weekend to be putting it out that the West wants to destroy Islam, something like that.  Who believes that anymore?  Nobody I’ve heard of except himself.  You can’t make something so by asserting it.  Maybe 30 years ago, you could.

  • J__o__h__n

    So much for putting one’s safety in the hands of a god. 

    • bellwetherhhi

      The thing is that “safety” for believers is not necessarily about physical safety.  Sometimes the safety of one’s soul is the issue.  Martyrs through the ages have demonstrated their priorities in this regard.

      I think the AAs have it right when they pray only for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry it out.

      • J__o__h__n

        This is typical of the excuses made when religion fails to delilver something tangible.

        • bellwetherhhi

          When does religion deliver something tangible except bloodshed?

  • Steven Holmes

    Boycott Pakistan products and international relations until there is a clear shift in policy and practice. Hit them in pocketbook. Steven Holmes, Hartford CT

    • Farrukh Najmi

      Not much products are left from Pakistan to boycott. Besides boycott does not hurt the Taliban and only hurts ordinary people. What would work better is to change military aid to humanitarian aid to build schools and improve law and order.

      • TinaWrites

        The real tricky part is how to provide humanitarian aid without it looking like it is tainted by Western values.  I don’t even know:  would Taliban members resent medical aid because (NO!  NOT “because”, “IF!”) they think that illness is God’s will?  (My parents had life-long friends who were Christian Science)  I’m sure that this is part of the stuff the US diplomatic core knows is important; but our military may not follow some of the subtleties.  DOES ANYONE KNOW ABOUT THE TALIBAN’S TAKE ON SHARIA LAW AS IT APPLIES TO MEDICAL CARE?  THANKS!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JBZGEKODLMMN4FON37X5OMTL4E Paul Johnson

          Pushing this kind of “hearts and minds” political correctness is a ridiculous way to direct aid policy.  No committed Taliban member will be won over by “packaging aid.”  Those people need to die off over time, while the less committed need to see how they and their neighbors can benefit from and adapt to the material manifestations of “Western values.”

          • TinaWrites

            I don’t remember & don’t have time to look it up, but wasn’t “hearts and minds” a George Bush phrase?  If so, I remember its tone, and that is NOT the tone I intended AT ALL!  It seems to me that ANY idea that could help save the lives of children is worth “putting out there” without it being ridiculed (“political correctness” and “ridiculous”).  You’d have to have seen the Masterpiece Theater/Upstairs-Downstairs II, Season 2) to get the tone of my idea.  Or, you could have grown up with a lot of World War II rescue-mission films shown on TV to understand the tone of my political idea.  There were many of those films when I was a child, and many of the families in my town had relatives who had been exterminated in the Holocaust.  Before I found those shows, Eleanor Roosevelt was on TV, asking ALL of us to “save the starving children of the world”.  I was only about 5 or 6 and we’d only just gotten a TV, so her plea had a strong impact on me as I watched alone.  Why I wasn’t outside playing with my brother and our pals, I don’t know.  The moment was impactful for many reasons, and would be underscored once Sunday School started a year or two later.  I admit that my idea has about it the Idea of a Child, but I am pleased to have retained that Child’s sense of empathy and sense of simplicity for solving problems and wanting everyone to be happy.  Find Ellen Dibble’s response to my post.  She explains the impact of seeing the seemingly unmanageable pile of request-for-help letters that came to the Brits from European Jews.  That pile alone is enough to move you.  But then she goes on to point out how moving AND SUCCESSFUL the whole project was because it was started from ONE WOMAN’S IDEA which was based on the sense of a Simple Need.  (I don’t claim to be that powerful as a single woman, but that idea — that a movement can start SOMEWHERE — made me feel I SHOULD post the idea for others to contemplate.  Today around the world and in the world depicted in the show, the diplomats were busy doing their thing in other buildings, but children were saved because of the work and concerted effort of ordinary people.  Not all political solutions need to be worked out prosaically.  Many of the solutions, including Resistance movements, were Poetic Solutions.  Kids are closer to poetry than they are to prose, except that they are so often dragged into the Worst of Prosaic Worlds by their Elders and Other Adults.  Poverty, Abuse, Drive-by Shooting, Getting Acid thrown in your face or Getting Shot in the head because you are a girl who “disobeyed”:  those are wretched, horrifically prosaic situations.  The children who are trapped are filled with poetry, they are poetry itself, so a poetically-inspired way to help them is worth considering.  Try to find the show, if you haven’t already seen it.  Thanks for the discussion.  Discussion has to be part of every new idea, new movement.  (BTW, I’m too “artsy” to try to be “politically correct”, but I do try to be thoughtful.)

          • TinaWrites

            Oh, wow, here we go AGAIN!  “Disqus made me do it!!”  Paul, I got an email from Disqus quoting your reply to me, but only showing a fraction of one of my posts (I know to expect this part now).  As happens with Disqus, when I clicked on “reply to person”, it sent me to your reply, but Disqus then  “locks” my computer, preventing me from seeing which of my posts you were replying to.  I thought you were replying to my first posting — a rather long piece; I wrote back and then hit “post as”.  Once I did this, suddenly, the “lock up” on my scrolling ability stopped, and I was able to see that you were NOT responding to my initial post, but to one of several posts I wrote that tweaked my own initial idea!  It’s way too complicated.  I think you will be confused because I probably have posts — most on the same subject — ALL OVER these webpages, and the one thing I know for sure, is that the post I just sent you doesn’t really apply that much to your post to me.  I don’t even know WHERE on these pages it will show up!  Talk about mice in the machine!!!

            NOTE TO WEBMASTER:  This kind of thing happens so much, can you negotiate with Disqus so that they will change how their system interacts with your website?  It would be really great if our posts could be numbered.  Then, at least we could refer to a post by its number!  Again, I personally do not want to be involved with Facebook because I’ve had spam problems I can tie in directly to Facebook, or someone’s use of Facebook as the vehicle for their malevolence.  As I’ve said before, obviously, I’d never “fit” inside Twitter.  Thanks!

  • J__o__h__n

    It is not the same mentality.  Giffords was shot by a lone nut.  Malala was targeted by a women hating religious extremist group.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    It’s possible to find a justification for many things in the Bible or in the Qur’an.  The determining factor is what the person brings to the book.  More and more good people have to stand up and advocate for the way that they read their religion.

  • bellwetherhhi

    Not sure which guest said something about a “mentality of hate”.  Hatred can be tolerated until modernity eliminates it, but the “mentality of force” is what causes bloodshed.

  • rahmanmanj

    Pakistan is a liberal country and women are free to get education.Rather womens are on the top seats like speaker national assembly and there are 33% women in national assembly.Its only very small part and just few people how are extremist and western media is only highlighting them.In case of poor Malal,she is a victom of international politics.It is just done by agenciese and definatly not by talban to put  international pressure on Pakistan to act fast against talban.

    • J__o__h__n


  • SK

    A country under the yoke of corruption,an inapt govt,a military wing who supports the extremists and a religion which shackles women are some of the problems facing Pakistan and many Islamic countries.Until these countries reform themselves,many more “Malala” will be hurt and killed for a simple demand that they the women must have a right to an education and freely able to have a choise in their lives.

  • Mike_Card

    And now that we hear of what awful things happen in Pakistan, what are we expected to do?  Nothing with an America label on it is acceptable, including dollars.

    I have zero interest in hearing about this bunch of cretins from the 12th century; when they get their acts together, I might change my mind.

  • Robert Maier

    See Kabulpress.org article on this subject.

  • tanyabecker

    This is clearly a heinous act of violence by men threatened by female potential. With that said, how many other countries in Africa, Asia, the America’s do we hear about such acts of violence towards hundreds of thousands of children. Why is our focus on this one child? Our national interests? How sad that we  don’t cry for all these children of the world.

    • TinaWrites

      The situation of this ONE GIRL may serve to inspire many children to be able to empathize with her.  Perhaps seeing many children suffering may be “too big”, “too political” for children to be able to get the information into a functional place within themselves.  Maybe kids can identify with a picture or words about a single girl who could be a friend; but seeing pictures of a whole war zone may send them back into whatever is their Safety Zone in their culture.  Sometimes cynicism is a safety zone.  I see that a lot where I live.  Sadly, it is a learned defense against a Hope that even children fear will never materialize for them.  On the other side of the spectrum, there is the supposed “safety” of the Princess Marketing Scheme that is being foisted on them (psychologically abusive, IMO).  But, as kids grow up, they may be able to carry with them the image of this ONE GIRL.  Then, as they get older, they may be able to see the suffering that affects many children, older kids, grandmoms and granddads, and even parents.  As they continue to grow, they may understand how that ONE GIRL, and their own siblings, and the strangers in their midst are all deserving of love and help.  With more kids growing up In Empathy, we might be able to have a great number of empathetically empowered adults as they grow up!  We might be able to have politicians who do their work to help the people who are their constituents, rather than helping themselves to the perks and spin-off jobs and power.  I am ABSOLUTELY NOT saying that this happened in order for all this other stuff to follow.  I’m just saying that distilling suffering into a single person can let young people; people whose own lives are overwhelming, and perhaps people without similarly threatening environments, and others explore what all these bad situations might mean; and where they could enter in and start helping.  You have done just this!  You have been able to see that this ONE young GIRL is, tragically, accompanied by so many others worldwide, and you want answers.  You’re probably right to see the storytelling about this ONE GIRL to be overdone; and that IS what our media does.  Our media can be repulsive when it seems to “feed” on tragic situations.  But there ARE shows where the story is told with great empathy by the media; and how we talk about that when it DOES happen!!  (One reason I love this show!).  AND, there IS human need to hear stories told in both prose AND poetry (including poetic prose), and that may be part of what you are intuiting without quite realizing it:  you may be yearning for the inspirational Poetic Version of this ONE GIRL’S story.  You may even want to write it or tell it!  Help (regular, prosaic, help!) must be given for this ONE GIRL and for the hundreds of thousands of others!  It must!  But, I also think that we need a strong enough dose of the poetic storytelling of this tale to help us — SEEMINGLY  unaffected by it (altho not by our service men and women and their families and friends) — to counterbalance just how hard it is to see such cruelty; to see the vampirizing of the situation by the media; to see the indifference of too many people; to see how huge and widespread the suffering is on this earth.  We need something to help us absorb all that:  and it cannot all be in prose, because that is too overwhelming, and often not transformative enough.  We can start with finding a way to work to HELP the situation and situations; then we seek out the right storytellers.  Humans have been doing so for millennia.  (American TV is faking some mythologically told stories, and I haven’t seen enough of them long enough to know if I can trust them, but if they cannot be trusted to guide us to a good place of understanding, if they are ultimately about commercial values and other warped values, then we still have to keep looking for the right storytellers.  We can also begin to BE the storytellers!  Then, soon we’ll find that even storytellers need storytellers!!)  Thanks so much for letting me go on and on about your heartfelt plea!

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Send them some mirrors, so that they may know their sin.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1042404403 Lisa Shaw

       Wm_James, who are you referring to?  The women in Pakistan or the Taliban?

  • Pingback: Women In Afghanistan And Pakistan

  • Adrian_from_RI

    When Allah tells you what to do, then who are you to question his wisdom?
    I can only pray for protection against those who believe in him.

  • Husain Arif

    Malala, the hope & strength of a bright & glittering future for Pakistan! May you be blessed with fast recovery, health, happiness, undaunted spirit, leadership, & excellence…. Amen

  • Pingback: Notes from Afghanistan « The Journal

Sep 2, 2014
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with Mark Wilson, event political speaker chairperson, with his wife Elain Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, August 4, 2012. (AP)

Nine weeks counting now to the midterm elections. We’ll look at the key races and the stakes.

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On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

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