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School for Everyone, Malala’s Story

Kalpana Makan

On October 9th, 2012 in a region of Pakistan known as the Swat Valley, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, an advocate and champion for the rights of young girls to attend school, was targeted and shot on a school bus.  Malala’s story is not unique: thousands of girls around the world do not have access to education and many risk violence in its pursuit. What is unique is that at 11, Malala began her very public fight for the rights to education for girls in her country. With the encouragement and support of her father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, the headmaster of a girls’ school in the Swat Valley, she raised her voice against the repressive and violent discourse of extremists desperate for power. She began questioning why some girls were not allowed to attend school; she participated in rallies and marches; she spoke out against the burning of girls’ schools. Click here to read the full story and to access curriculum connections relevant to junior and intermediate divisions.