It was with great happiness that I heard about Malala Yousafzai winning the Sakharov Prize for human rights. Malala has had a very unfortunate attack recently (it has been one year since she was shot), but she gives hope to many that are in the same situation as she is, and to the many others who wish they could do more in order to defend and fight for education.
Recently, Malala was also awarded with the Amnesty International Ambassador of Consciousness award, the Pride of Britain award and the Anna Politkovskaya award. By being an advocate of such an incredible and especial cause, Malala brings the eyes of the world to its inequality and to the suffering of vulnerable individuals. She is seen as a symbol of innocence and virtue.
Malala had her innocence violated by terrorists, but she still represents lightening in places where education is not accepted, especially for girls. She brings hope; she is like a flower that blossoms in the desert. Her eyes are deep and serene, demonstrating her faith in changes, faith that is transmitted to all of us.
Unfortunately, nearly 57 million primary school age children are out of school and more than half are girls; data also indicates that 116 million young women have been denied the opportunity to complete primary school. These people will never be able to get a real chance to improve their lives without schools and books. It makes no sense that a world capable to offer these prizes to Malala is incapable to provide education for children, especially for girls.
As Malala said in her recent speech for the UN Assembly, the Taliban and other terrorist groups are afraid of books because they know their power. Knowledge transforms lives; books are a scape to those who cannot bare their existences due to the conditions they live in.
Even though books and education have infinite power, many changes still need to be made in society regarding dignity and respect to the female gender and the access to books by girls; Malala is a living proof of that.
In honor to the International Day of the Girl Child (October 11th), it is important to raise awareness about the daily difficulties of being a female and the absurd that it is to prevent girls from going to the schools. Malala’s prize is a great start in order to provide more visibility to the cause of education as a basic human right.
We all have the hope that one day common rights will be assured to both genders, causing, thus a fairer world to everyone. Freedom of opportunities will not be only in paper, but will become a fact assured by the own structure of society.
We, from Delta, expect that in the future the world becomes more like what Malala wishes, with more education, books and equality to both genders. Malala, you give hope to us all!!!
By Gabriela Campos