All Malala wants to do is go to school. She almost died for it.
On October 9, 2012, Malala Yousafzai was gunned down for the “crime” of going to school. Today the world stands with this remarkable girl, a girl so brave she stood up to the Taliban, a group so evil they stalk and murder innocent children for the “sin” of seeking education.
Tarek Fatah of Canada started a petition to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize; petitions from Germany, England and France have swiftly followed. I want my country, the United States of America, to join in this historic moment of empowerment for girls and women everywhere.
As an educator and board member of a non-profit dedicated to providing educational opportunity to children in South Sudan, I know first-hand the value of education for all children. I stand with Malala in her passion; I ask the citizens of the United States to stand with her too.
These are bold times for girls and women. Girls are going to school in places where it was unthinkable a generation ago. Women fill the jobs of doctor, lawyer, and politician. Travesties of justice – rape, battering, “honor” killings, sex slavery, servitude, genital mutilation – are no longer in the closet. The world knows the truth now.
Yet there is much to do, as Malala’s wounds attest. The hopes and dreams of girls throughout the world are no longer hidden – silent, muffled, afraid. Civilization is at the crossroads of opportunity to accept this call to action.
This is why I am asking Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to nominate Malala Yousafzai for a Nobel Peace Prize.
By nominating Malala Yousafzai, these global leaders will send a clear message: We stand with Malala and with girls everywhere in their fight for the right to equal opportunity through education.
and Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Dear Secretary Clinton and Former Secretary Rice:
On November 9, 2012, I posted a petition on Change.org imploring you to nominate Malala Yousafzai for the Nobel Peace Prize. One of many global efforts, it has garnered close to 200,000 signatures. I look forward to formally presenting it to you in the coming weeks.
There are two reasons why Malala Yousafzai deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Neither has to do with the fact that she was shot in the head by the Taliban.
The right to education, for which Malala Yousafzai put her life on the line, is arguably the most important cause in the world. One-hundred million of the world’s children are not in school; more than half are girls.
Without education, we will not extend the practice of democracy in the world. Without education, we will not eradicate poverty or improve global human health. Without education, we will not address climate crisis. Most importantly, without education, we will not achieve the tolerance and acceptance necessary to address any of the above.
Malala Yousafzai began her crusade for the right to education when she was eleven years old. She began simply, with an anonymous blog about her deep anguish at being prevented from going to school. She went public; she spoke forcefully; she persevered. When the death threats came, she stood her ground.
When standing tall for what is right entails the possibility of losing one’s life, one enters a new arena – an arena few can comprehend. Malala’s willingness to risk her life by giving voice to the hopes of millions of children places her among those who, throughout human history, have drawn the line against oppression at grave risk to their lives.
Malala's actions are timeless. She is a hero for all ages.
Currently number one in Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” poll and recently named sixth among the “100 Top Global Thinkers 2012” by Foreign Policy Magazine, Malala Yousafzai deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
Bonnie S. Lloyd
Rochester, New York