Thursday, October 11, 2012

International Day of the Girl

In the ordinary-ness of an autumn afternoon, I sat in the car listening to a BBC program aired on NPR.   The radio was a buzz with the story of Malala. Since I tuned in late, I didn't know what they were talking about. Only that something horrific had happened to a young girl who has been blogging about schools for girls in Pakistan since she was 11.

Malala. Probably in the Pakistani language that name has some special meaning. I love the sound of it. It reminds me of a bird song, or maybe a fruit bearing tree. Now that I know the tragic story, how she and two others were gunned down by the Taliban and left for dead, I wonder if Malala might mean brave or beautiful. For that is certainly how I see her.

In church last night I sent up prayers to Divine One for Malala's complete recovery. But more than that, I prayed for all women and girls who are denied basic human rights and live in fear. And especially ones, like Malala, who step out of their fear to say "enough is enough."

Today, October 11 is the first International Day of the Girl.  Robert Walker of the Huffington Post wrote of the plight of Malala and other girls in an article today.

On this day, October 11, when the UN and the world observe the first International Day of the Girl, we have a chilling reminder of just how far we have to go before girls achieve true gender equality. Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for daring to advocate for the education of girls, is fighting for her life in a Peshawar military hospital. While hopes are high that she will survive, she remains in critical condition.  
As tragic as the shooting of Malala Yousufzai was, we must turn our collective outrage into constructive action. On this day, the first International Day of the Girl, let us all resolve to turn her personal tragedy into a global rallying cry for girls, their education, and their right to pursue their own hopes and dreams, free from the tyranny of gender inequality.  For the entire article go here.

When a problem is this big I feel especially small. I want to do something, but can't imagine that anything I could do would make a difference. And that's when I'm reminded of this quote by Mother Theresa - a small woman who made big ripples wherever she went. 

With that sentiment in mind, I'm working on an idea to raise some money for a charity that will serve women.  Haven't got the kinks worked out of it, but I will give you a hint. This quilt is involved:

Please stay tuned. And please add your prayers for Malala's full recovery.

Wishing for you a world where women are no longer afraid.
Merry ME


Anonymous said...

It is such a tragic thing. Here is this gentle, wise, brave and love filled teenager, who won a peace prize for her efforts - maliciously shot by those full of hate and ignorance.
My heart goes out to her.
Your idea of sending her prayers of healing and grace is exactly the right thing, Merry.
If only i could be god and heal her and evaporate the 'bad' guys. Something is very wrong with the world we live in that this sort of cruelty still can occur in a world that thinks itself civilized.

Anonymous said...,0,3080245.story

A new article about her, merry.