Monday, October 29, 2012

Days for Malala's hope. Sign petition

Malala's a 14 year old force of nature, shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education. But she's alive, and so is her dream of education for all girls in Pakistan. Let's help her realize it - a UN envoy will deliver our petition to Pakistani President Zardari in a few days for an expert-backed plan to get girls into school: 
Hey Avaazers - so if you haven't heard, Malala is this amazing, insanely brave, 14 year old girl who's been campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan, and blogging for the BBC. The Taliban drove up to her school two weeks ago and shot her in the head, with two of her friends. She's still alive, thank god.

We're probably all thinking the same thing -- how do we honour this incredible girl? Her dream was for all girls in Pakistan to attend school -- let's help her achieve it.

There's actually a pretty good expert plan for how to do that. UK's former PM Gordon Brown is the new UN Envoy for Education, and is meeting Pakistani President Zardari in a few days. He says a million signatures on a petition will really help him get the media swell we need to persuade Zardari. So let's do it, and have a pretty amazing present ready for Malala when she gets out of hospital! Sign and forward this email to get us to a million!

Malala blogged for the BBC about life under the Taliban - the terror, the intimidation, and the demolition of girls' schools. Girls' education is constitutionally required in Pakistan, but only 29% of them make it to the 4th grade -- which is crazy since study after study shows that girls' education is a massive game-changer for development, poverty, public health and much more. One study suggested that if only half of girls finished school, Pakistan's economy would grow 6% faster every year! That just sounds like smart economics for a desperately poor country.

Getting girls to school is a complex challenge (sometimes parents don't want them there), but experts have developed a program of stipends for families and other measures like school-building and teacher training that is really working, now that the Taliban have been cleared out of many areas. All we need is for the Pakistani government to get behind a big national roll out of stipends. Zardari has been hugely supportive of Malala, and Brown says that he is open to this idea, so a big public push might be just what we need to get a big win here! Sign below and forward this to friends:

There's such a powerful lesson in this campaign. That one brave girl can stand up to thugs, and inspire the world. Let's finish the lesson, and show that the world, inspired, can help this awesome girl win.

Such a pleasure to do these kinds of campaigns with you all,

Ricken, Emma, Maria Paz, Alaphia, Meredith, Pedro and the whole Avaaz team


Pakistan girl shot over activism in Swat Valley, claims Taliban (The Guardian):

Malala Yousafzai: Pakistan bullet surgery 'successful' (BBC):

Pakistan: The schoolgirl the Taliban tried to kill (The Daily Beast):

Pakistan rebuilds its education network after Taliban are driven out of Swat (The Guardian):

Lack of education is adversely affecting girls (Pakistan Today):

Why Gender Equality in Basic Education in Pakistan? (UNESCO):

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