Earlier today, Pakistani Taliban members claimed responsibility for wounding 14-year old teenage activist, Malala Yousafzai, known for her outspoken criticism of Taliban atrocities. On her way home from school Tuesday, Yousafzai was shot in the head after two men approached her school van.
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. Yousafzai was awarded a cash prize and an award for her courageous peace work to raise awareness by the Pakistani government in 2011. In that same year, Yousafzai was also nominated for an International Children’s Peace Price.
In response to the shooting, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf addressed the Pakistani Senate saying, “We have to fight the mind-set that is involved in this. We have to condemn it. . . Malala is like my daughter and yours, too. If that mind-set prevails, then whose daughter would be safe?”
This news comes months after a Hanifa Safi, a provincial head of women’s affairs, was assassinated in a car bombing. Additionally, over 160 Afghan schoolgirls were targets of a poisoning attack in early May. The Taliban failed to claim responsibility in both acts.
Media Resources: Washington Post 10/9/12; BBC News 01/19/09; BBC News 10/9/12; Feminist Newswire 07/13/12; Feminist Newswire 05/29/12