By Fazeen Amin
It is evident in the history of the world that women were not considered respectful and dignified before Islam. Women were bought and sold as slaves in the open markets. They were not given any honorable status. Women were not allowed to participate in any official matters of the state. The powerful men treated women with cruelty. Islam revived the honorable position for women. It was Islam that encouraged women to take education and also take part in the state businesses. Unfortunately the religion which made it obligatory for both men and women to acquire knowledge could not be perceived as the same by some fanatics.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan got independence on 14th august 1947. Pakistan had suffered the highs and lows in the political stability. In the history of Pakistan any religious extremist party had never governed the state of Pakistan. Women had walked shoulder to shoulder with men from the time of independence. Unfortunately the beautiful valley of Swat had to suffer at the hands to religious extremist Taliban. In 2004 Taliban started to infiltrate in the administrative matters of swat. The naïve population of the valley viewed them as their savior from injustice and revival of the true Islamic system. By 2007 Taliban had taken over the complete valley. People started to rebel the cruel administration but it was too late.
Malala Yousef zai was born in Swat valley on 12 July 1997. She was blessed to be born at in a house were a girl was considered equal to a boy contrary to the common mindset of the neighborhood. She studied at a girl’s school established by her father Ziauddin Yousafzai. Malala could not understand the severity of political situation when her school was shut down in 2008. Taliban had closed all the girls’ schools as they believed that girl’s education is against Islamic teachings. Their concepts were absolutely wrong. Malala was sick of the extremism against women and she started to talk about the importance of women education. Her dedication to educate herself and other fellow girls made her the main target of Taliban.
By 2012 Pakistan army had taken control of the valley but Taliban were hidden to attack again. While Malala was going back home from school she was attacked by terrorists who shot Malala in her head. Malala had already become an international figure because of her dedication towards studies and her fight against Taliban mentality about girls. Malala was quickly transferred to England where her life was saved. It was no less than a miracle. Malala went under rehabilitation in England where she started to live with her family. She could have lived a comfortable life in England but she continued to work for women education.
In 2013 Malala addressed the hall of United Nations and delivered a speech. In her speech she preached peace and tolerance. She laid stress on the issue of education of girls in the third world countries of the world. Malala also established a charity for education of girls. The journey of achievements did not stop at UN but it started from there.
Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate in 2014. She was only 17 years old when she was honored with the prestigious award. The former PM of Pakistan Nawaz Shareef had congratulated her by calling her the pride of nation. Malala is now studying in University of Oxford. Her incredible journey is covering miles of success by every passing year. Malala is also invited to attend the UN Youth conference of 2030.
Malala’s struggle had started by a simple act of going to school. She has not stopped was a second after that. No terrorists threat, no bullet in the head could stop her from advocating women education. At a very young age she has achieved what others could not achieve throughout their lives. Malala has yet to cover great mile stones and her incredible journey continues.