“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ”
We wander through life relying on other people to make a difference. We can’t handle it, because of this reason, or that reason. We’re to young, or to old, or it’s not our job.
That’s why I admire Malala Yousafzai. She stands up for what she believes in, without a reward, despite threats and an attempted assassination. She doesn’t let others tell her she’s too young, too inexperienced. She doesn’t back down. She is a modern hero, fighting for those you can’t speak for themselves, fighting for basic human rights in her home country.
As a high school girl in the US, I agree with her goals, and think that she is doing the right thing. I also think that we in the United States of America need to take a minute to step back and think about our own systems of educations, what problems exist here at home. Too often we make this a foreign problem, and remove ourselves from it. But like Malala, we should be focusing on our homes and improving the systems we see that our broken. As the world has begun to here Malala’s words, so they should listen to other children. Oftentimes children have the freshest eyes, because this is our system, our experience.
My first response is to applaud Malala, for doing something a lot of us don’t have the guts to do. She is working on speaking out against something that should be obvious, but few people have the guts to say something about because they fear for their own lives.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and women] do nothing”
I think it’s awful that the Taliban would continue to target her for speaking about what she believes is right, trying to silence the good she intends to do.
From my perspective, the gender gaps in women’s education Malala discusses are far closer to home than Pakistan is. As a student at an all-girls school that focuses on educating girls, I’m lucky. Girls don’t fall under the radar here as much as in co-ed schools, but are encouraged to take math, science and subjects typically considered to be “male- dominated.” But both in schools and in the workforce in the US, this is still a problem. Women are still paid less in the professional world, even when equally qualified as their male counterparts. Girls still are expected to be “worse” in math and science. Often stereotypes dominate our culture so much, it is hard to remove them.
So what do we do? Let’s examine our own home for those things we can improve in our own systems. Let’s explore what Malala has accomplished, and let’s work towards and dream of a future in which all races and genders are not just said to be equals, but are treated as such.
Explore, Dream, Examine
For more, check out Lauren’s Blog: Education is a right, not a Privilege