On Oct. 21, George Washington University revealed that some of its faculty members are creating multimedia curriculum tools to supplement a book recently published by Malala Yousafzai. The 16 year-old Pakistani teenager targeted for assassination by the Taliban because of her advocacy about girls’ education has inspired the development of a new school curriculum that highlights the encouragement of advocacy.
Completely free of charge, the program will focus on themes such as the importance of women’s voices and political extremism. These tools won’t solely focus on Yousafzai’s story, but also how the same issues, such a child marriage and pressures to leave school, are reflected elsewhere. “It’s going to be really interactive and really encourage students to do … activities outside of school, it will encourage them to get engaged in the communities and as well to help the Malala Fund directly,” said Mary Ellsber, director of the university’s Global Woman’s Institute.
In 2012, a Taliban gunman walked up to a bus that was taking Yousafzai and other children home from school. He proceeded to shoot her in the head and neck and wound another student as well.
Nowadays, Yousafzai claims that she is more afraid of ghosts than she is of the Taliban. “They are afraid of us. They are afraid of women. A woman is powerful but when she gets education she becomes more powerful. They do not want women to take part in society, in the development of a society. They think that the only job of women is to cook food, to serve the family, to give birth to children, to feed them,” she said.
In her memoir, I Am Malala, she highlights the incidents of her life as a woman in Pakistan. She has an ambition to lead her country, and hopes one day to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. She has already been in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The new school curriculum represents an amazing step forward in educating students in the United States, who are so privileged in their ability to gain education, about the struggles women face in terror-stricken countries. By bringing this perspective to universities across the world, it begins a campaign to fight for education for all.
– Sonia Aviv