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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid