News / Asia

Analyst: Malala Will Have Impact on Pakistani Education

Analyst: Yousafzai Will Have Impact On Pakistan Educationi
X
October 15, 2013 4:36 AM
A teenage Pakistani girl made global headlines a year ago when she was shot in the head by the Taliban because of her advocacy for girls' education. Malala Yousafzai survived the attack and now lives in Britain, where she continues her campaign despite continued threats on her life. Her story shines a light on Pakistan, where more than one-third of elementary-school-aged children do not attend school. Enrollment figures are even lower for girls, especially in rural areas.

Analyst: Yousafzai Will Have Impact On Pakistan Education

Zlatica Hoke
A teenage Pakistani girl made global headlines a year ago when she was shot in the head by the Taliban because of her advocacy for girls' education.  Malala Yousafzai survived the attack and now lives in Britain, where she continues her campaign despite continued threats on her life. Her story shines a light on Pakistan, where more than one-third of elementary-school-aged children do not attend school. Enrollment figures are even lower for girls, especially in rural areas. 
 
Today, the Taliban have lost control over the Swat Valley, where Malala grew up, but continue to stage sporadic attacks there and have threatened to attack her again.
 
Cultural anthropologist Peter Eltsov claims the Taliban and some tribal leaders in the remote northern regions of Pakistan target secular education because they see it as foreign.  
 
“I never faced more hostility towards what one would call -- if I can still use these words -- Western culture, Western civilization, as in the tribal territories of the Northwest Frontier and Baluchistan," said Eltsov.
 
Eltsov also noted that western arts and entertainment are especially disliked in areas like Waziristan, Baluchistan and Yousufzai's native Swat Valley.  
 
During the two years they ruled in Swat, the Taliban destroyed hundreds of schools -- especially girls' schools.  Eltsov pointed out that although the Taliban enjoyed some support among Pakistan's conservative politicians, most Pakistanis want education for women.  Unfortunately, Eltsov continued, many remote villages have no schools for either boys or girls.
 
"Basically, there is no education, there is no medicine.  You walk through these villages, you don’t see any women in the streets, you don’t see children in the streets. It’s a mud-brick-house culture," recalled Eltsov.
 
By law, education is compulsory in Pakistan for children up to 16, but Eltsov says the government is not able to enforce that in the tribal regions.
 
"If you talk to people, say, in Quetta (the capital of Baluchistan province) or Waziristan about who is in charge of things, they don’t want to see Pakistani government as being ahead of them.  They see their tribal law, their legal system, their family relations as their primary law,” explained Eltsov.
 
Most children in Pakistan's urban areas do attend at least elementary school and the participation of girls is much higher than in rural areas.  In Pakistani cities, there is also less fear of foreign culture.  Fashion model Nadia Hussain says the world should know that.
 
"The foreign media does need to know that these are the kind of events that also happen in our country, and it's not just about extremism,” said Hussain.
 
Yousafzai's memoir, I am Malala, has been released in the United States and Britain and will soon be released in other countries as well. However, it is not yet clear how many people will be able to read it in her native country, where the Taliban has threatened to destroy book stores that try to sell it. 
 
Eltsov says Malala is already a hero in her country regardless of the threats and some discontent about her publicity in the West.  He says that throughout history, people like Yousafzai have changed the world.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hannah Lee from: CHINA
October 18, 2013 2:27 AM
Girls and boys should be treated equally . Everybody has right to accept good education. And males and females should have same social statues. Malala is a brave and good girl. I just hope those terrorists don't hurt innocent people ,especially children and old people. We need peaceful world.


by: Keen from: Philippines
October 16, 2013 11:54 AM
I really admire people who stand up for their ideology and philosophy in life not for personal gain but for the welfare of other people...Malala is one courageous individual who displays a great deal of environmental awareness and humanitarian empathy at such young age...I hope more people can support her in her cause in changing the standard of education and promoting women's rights in her home country...


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
October 15, 2013 3:23 AM
Only a book, only a pen would help the world. How come she is so good at adressing audience? Islamists look should become more generous to permit someone to prefer secularism.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid