Today is the International Day of the Girl and there is a lot to celebrated, particularly the announcement that Malala Yousafzai has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for the right to education. This will be her legacy, as she has hoped:
“I don’t want to be thought of as the “girl who was shot by the Taliban” but the “girl who fought for education.” This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.”
Malala says that the extremists that would silence her are afraid of the power of women and it’s true. Why else would education be taken away from girls? Why else would rape be used as a weapon of war? Because women with power are terrifying to the people that would refuse them and their children the right to life. There is nothing more frightening than a mother fighting for the future of her children.
Obviously there is a lot to be done, and a lot of understanding to be reached. I am a feminist, and I still have to work to understand the plight of minority women who struggle to have their voices heard. There are still people who deny misogyny and rape culture and ask women what they’ve done to ask for the attention they get. There are major gaps in representation.
Women and their allies have a lot of fight left, but we know how to fight and we’ve got great examples like Malala.