Today, Friday 10th October 2014 represents a significant landmark in the 57 year history of the state of Pakistan. For the 2nd time only, a Pakistani has been awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. At the age of just 17, Malala Yousafzai stands as the youngest ever recipient of the prize for her internationally renowned contribution to child education.
The overall literacy rate in Pakistan is 46 per cent, while only 26 per cent of girls are literate. Malala Yousafzai while living in Pakistan generated considerable attention for promoting the need of education for Pakistani girls. Having being blacklisted by the Taliban, she miraculously survived an assassination attempt, following a gunshot wound to her head.
Despite this, since arriving in England, Malala has continued to actively speak out against the extremist voices in Pakistan that go as far as calling female education ‘haram’. Her speech in July 2013 at the United Nations General Assembly brought international acclaim for her defiance in the face of death threats and attempts – to instead speak out for female education in a country emboldened by extremism through a hardline interpretation of Islam.
Malala’s path has not been an easy one. She encapsulates Malcolm X’s statement that “if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” This is reflected in her own words, where Malala says “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced”. We at thevoicetoday, appreciate the power and value of this statement, where we believe everyone of us has an obligation to stand up and use our voices to create a better today so we can build a promising future for tomorrow.