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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs