Earlier today, female teacher Shahnaz Nazli was shot by two men of unknown affiliation on her way to work at a girls school in the village of Shahkas. She died of her injuries in the hospital. The Khyber tribal district in northwest Pakistan is asking the government to implement greater security measures for women and girls in the wake of this shooting. Concerned citizens in the region have begun a petition, pressing the Pakistani government to provide greater protection for women and girls in the education system. Government officials have acted quickly, rounding up eighteen suspects.
Nazli’s murder happens against the backdrop of another shooting, that of Malala Yousafzai. In early 2009, under a pen name, Yousafzai published a diary for the BBC that highlighted the Taliban ban against girl’s education in the northwest Swat district of Pakistan. On her way home from school one day, Yousafzai was shot in the head by two men demanding her by name. The fourteen year-old activist is rapidly recovering from her injury and has released videos and commentary stating that violence will not deter her.
Women and girls in many parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan endure threats, violence, and even potential poisoning for seeking or providing an education.