How Many Malalas?

Posted on October 18, 2012 by womansplace
The question is posed by Alayna Ahmad in her recent Huffington Post blog, Malala Yousafzai’s Attempted Assassination: The War Against Intellectual Freedom. How many Malalas will it take?


The 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl and activist was shot last week. She stood up to the Taliban. She stood up for girl’s education. She stood up… and was gunned down.

Also last week – The Day of the Girl. October 11, The Day of the Girl, was a global opportunity and movement to celebrate and advance the lives of girls. As stated in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the International Day of the Girl Child,

Recognizing that empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth…, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights….”

Each day I get up, get my two girls off to school, and then head into the office for a day of working to end violence against women. Except, it isn’t just a 9-5, is it? For anyone in the work, anyone in the movement, anyone raising girls, anyone who has a mother or a sister or a female friend, it isn’t just a 9-5. To commit to recognizing the empowerment of girls and their critical role in the success of any and every community is to commit to a lifestyle, not just a job. I live ending violence against women and girls and am honored to stand with countless advocates across the world who are living that same commitment. We live it courageously and creatively. We sing, we dance, we tell stories, we analyze, we strategize, we adapt, and we breathe a passion for a world defined by social justice. We stand with the Malalas – and stay standing, even when the Malalas are viciously gunned down.

The question remains, both baffling and unanswered. How many Malalas will it take?

How will you celebrate The Day of the Girl – each and every day?

Ifeoma Aduba, AWP Interim Executive Director

Courage: A Woman’s Place acts bravely and boldly, not withstanding fear.
Creativity: A Woman’s Place encourages the creation of meaningful new ideas, interpretations, and rules.*
*excerpt from the Values Statement of A Woman’s Place


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