Malala Yousafzai Celebrates Her 16th Birthday at U.N., Makes Us Almost Not Cynical For A Little Bit

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Global Hero.Life is rough sometimes, what with mancave workplaces and grading badly-written memos and even exploding foamy pig shit sometimes. But then people like Malala Yousafzai come along and make us feel grateful that the worst most of us have to deal with is reading terrible memos in a cube farm full of pig doots. Malala, as you recall, is the Pakistani girl who “was shot in the head on a school bus by Taliban gunmen because of her campaign for girls’ rights.”

And you know what she did? She said FUCK YOU TALIBAN, I’M GONNA LIVE. And she did. And she recovered, because she is a fucking badass chick. And did she stop her campaign for girls’ rights? Hellz no. She took that fight to the FUCKING UNITED NATIONS today:

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban, has told the U.N. that books and pens scare extremists, as she urged education for all…. Speaking on her 16th birthday, Malala said efforts to silence her had failed…. The speech at the UN headquarters in New York was her first public address since last October’s incident in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley.

That’s how you celebrate a sweet 16th birthday. Since Malala is an epic global badass, let’s wonksplore what she is fighting for. 

Malala is fighting for global education, and especially ensuring that girls are able to go to primary and secondary schools. And she is a bigger person than all of us:

Amid several standing ovations, Malala told the U.N. on Friday that the Taliban’s attack had only made her more resolute.

“The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions,” she said, “but nothing changed in my life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”

She continued: “I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all the terrorists and extremists.”

That’s right — she wants education for everyone, even the kids of the group that tried to SHOOT HER IN THE HEAD. We want to kick religious right bigots in their junk for spouting ignint shit on the radio, and Malala is shaming us all. With books and pens.

She has a point, though. Unfortunately, girls face a lot of obstacles in trying to get an education. While more girls are being enrolled in schools, girls often face violence, sexual assault, and rape either on the way to/from school or at school by teachers and supervisors. In many countries, girls are pulled out of school at the age of 10 or 11 when they are forced to get married, oftentimes to men who are much much older.

But does any of this deter our hero Malala? Of course not, because she is THAT AWESOME:

“Let us pick up our books and pens,” Malala summed up. “They are our most powerful weapons.

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”

Yr Wonkette has discussed violence against women before, but this is a fucking important issue and deserves more posts. We try to snark to the maximum extent possible (because it’s what you expect from us), but sometimes shit gets real. If you haven’t given all your monies to Wonkette, then there are a few organizations linked above that are doing good work on these issues.

And, another giant FUCK YOU to the GOP for continually blocking the International Violence Against Women Act, which would make life better for women and girls. Also, too, there is a bill called the Education for All Act which would be good for the girls and boys and the math and the reading and the learning. Rumor has it that both might be introduced again this Congress, so maybe Malala can come to D.C. and browbeat the knuckle-dragging snotbuckets in Congress to get their shit together and ensure that girls can go to school in a safe environment, get learned, and make the world a better place.

Stay tuned to your favorite mommyblog for more.

[BBC]

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