Family Talk: Pakistani Teen Malala Yousufzai Improving

Malala Yousufzai is able to stand and write days after the Taliban attempted to assassinate her.

Perseverance is key.

Just 10 days after being shot in the head, 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai was able to stand with assistance. ABC reports that she is also able to write.

Malala, an activist for women's rights and education has been a blogger for BBC News since the age of 11. Her beliefs and blog, which have reached millions of people around the world, are what the Taliban want to do away with.

Her home town of Swat Valley in Pakistan is where the teen was shot by the Taliban as a method to end her efforts of fighting for women's rights and their ability to be educated.

Malala's blog about her life in Pakistan provides an honest account not only of the daily occurances, but of a child's feelings towards the stronghold of terror that her community has become in the Taliban's reign as well.

As many of you have probably seen, reports about the incident when Malala was shot on her way home from school have been abundant throughout news broadcasts.

While going through our morning family routine on Friday, my 10-year-old son heard an ABC report about Malala's improving condition after getting that critical gunshot to her head.

After I stopped what I was doing to explain what happened and the fact that Malala has been vocal in her desire to learn and the conviction she has for women's rights, he replied by saying "Oh, I didn't know that happened," referring to the inability for girls to attend school and be educated.

This was yet another reminder for me that kids need to be taught about the world we live in and not just know of the "bubble" they live in every day.

It's important for kids to understand that not only are there different cultures and traditions, which is highlighted in Social Studies classes, trips to museums and family vacations, but also that goverments, laws and rights can differ from country to country.

It's important for kids to know that there are injustices that occur in the world, which many of us are blessed not to have to face, and that there are injustices that occur in our country as well.

Seeing my son's reaction showed me how much his surroundings shape his thinking. This may be an obvious and simple thought, but there is something very intriguing in a child's reaction to an injustice they didn't even realize could exist.

Many may feel as though they need to shield their kids from all that is "bad" in the world, but it is our reponsibility, as parents, to teach and be honest with our children.

The importance of equality, standing up for one's rights and the right to an education is something that should be stressed to children every where, even to those who do not face such discrimination and violations to their rights as Malala has.

Harriet Brown October 20, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I wish her a complete speedy recovery. What a beautiful, brave girl. It is rare to see that much courage.


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