Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘Taliban’

Nobel Prize for Malala

Gabriel –

One month ago, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Malala’s crime? She wanted to go to school, and ran a campaign in Pakistan to help girls gain access to education.

Malala has been an activist for years — when she was 11, she worked as an anonymous blogger for the BBC to expose information about her Taliban-ruled area of Pakistan. Now, even as she recovers from being shot in the head, Malala says, “All I want is an education. And I’m afraid of no one.”

In response to Malala’s extraordinary courage, people all over the world are calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Bonnie Lloyd, a professor of sociology in Rochester, New York, started a petition on Change.org asking Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. Click here to sign Bonnie’s petition.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been used for decades to bring global attention to important issues, from landmines to apartheid to the US civil rights movement. Bonnie believes the time is right to focus on girls being denied the right to go to school, and honoring Malala’s bravery is a great way to do that.

“The hopes and dreams of girls throughout the world are no longer hidden – yet there is much to do, as Malala’s wounds attest,” Bonnie says about her petition. “By nominating Malala Yousafzai, these global leaders will send a clear message: We stand with Malala and with girls everywhere in their fight for the right to equal opportunity through education.”

As two of the highest ranking women in the history of US government, a nomination for Malala from Secretaries Clinton and Rice would be a strong signal to the global community that Malala’s fight is important to people in the US.

Secretary Clinton has responded to petitions on Change.org before — last year, she publicly declared support for Saudi women’s right to drive for the first time and credited a Change.org petition. Bonnie believes that if enough people sign her petition, Secretaries Clinton and Rice will take a stand to support Malala and girls all over the world who just want to go to school.

Click here to sign Bonnie’s petition calling on Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice to nominate Malala Yousafzai for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Rachel and the Change.org team

Make Malala’s Dream Reality

Dear Friends,

Malala has dedicated her childhood to championing education for girls like her in Pakistan. As she lies in a hospital bed, a tragic victim of Taliban gunmen, let’s help make her dream come true.

One part of Pakistan has already started a successful programme of paying families which send their girls to school regularly. But in Malala’s province the government is dragging its feet. Senior politicians have offered Malala help, and if we act now we can get them to commit to rolling this out nationwide.

Before the media spotlight moves on, let’s raise our voices to demand that the government announces funding for all Pakistani girls who attend school. In days the UN Education Envoy will meet Pakistan’s President Zardari and he says hand delivering 1 million signatures will strengthen his case. Sign and forward this email, and let’s help make Malala’s dream come true:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/malalahopenew/?bMPbqab&v=18774

North-west Pakistan has been in the grip of the Taliban since 2007 when they systematically started burning and destroying girls’ schools. The Taliban destroyed 401 schools in Swat between 2001 and 2009 — 70% of them were girls’ schools. Malala drew the world’s attention to the Taliban’s reign of terror, when she started writing a blog in Urdu for the BBC. Her writing is a crucial record of the devastating consequences of extremism on the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s constitution says girls should be educated alongside boys, and the government has the resources to make it happen. But politicians have ignored that for years, influenced by extremist religious groups, and now, only 29% of girls attend secondary school. Study after study has shown the positive impact on personal and national income when girls are educated.

Let’s turn this shock and horror at the Taliban’s attack on a young girl into a wave of international pressure that forces Pakistan to address girls’ education. Click below to stand with Malala and support a massive girls’ education campaign in Pakistan, backed by resources, security, and most importantly, the will to fight the extremists who tear down Pakistan:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/malalahopenew/?bMPbqab&v=18774

Let’s come together and stand in solidarity with a brave, young activist, who is showing the world how one little schoolgirl can stand up to armed and dangerous extremists.

With hope and determination,

Emma, Alaphia, Alex, Ricken, Ari, Michelle, Wissam, Rewan and the rest of the Avaaz team

Afghanistan & Women’s Rights

Dear Gabriel,

Shocking brutality, discrimination, denial of education. Just a few of the human rights abuses Afghan women face.

Dozens of girls daring to seek an education were sickened when gas filled their school — allegedly caused by a Taliban attack. An 18-year-old bride had her nose and ears cut off as punishment for running away from her abusive in-laws. The Taliban shot a pregnant woman dead for alleged adultery after forcing her to abort her fetus.

The U.S. is going to withdraw from Afghanistan. But the the risks that Afghan women face daily — and hard work it will take to ensure their human rights — remain.

We need a plan.

Today, International Women’s Day, let’s make sure the women of Afghanistan are not left behind.

Tell the U.S. government that women’s human rights are non-negotiable, and Afghanistan should not be an exception. The U.S. should adopt an Action Plan for Afghan women before leaving the country in the hands of the Afghan government and the Taliban.

In 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a promise to Afghan women: “We will not abandon you, we will stand with you always.” Protecting human rights in Afghanistan — including the rights of women — was one of the reasons the U.S. and NATO cited for invading Afghanistan back in 2001.

But now this pledge to the Afghan people is in danger of being broken, and the very justification for being in Afghanistan in the first place — defending human rights — is in danger of being completely abandoned. All because of political expediency.

A U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is imminent. But the U.S. shouldn’t abandon Afghanistan’s women.

Peace talks are underway between the U.S., the Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai, and the Taliban. As these sides negotiate the future of Afghanistan, women must be included and their rights must be protected.

Women’s participation will build a better peace in Afghanistan. But will women even be equally represented at the talks that will determine their fate? So far the answer is an unacceptable “No.” We know all too well what happens when women aren’t at the table — their voices are silenced and their needs are left out.

Amnesty has a plan to promote women’s rights in Afghanistan and to make sure Afghan women are able to shape their own destiny — but we need you to take action to make it a reality.

Demand that the U.S. keep its promise to Afghanistan’s women. It can leave Afghanistan, but not its commitment to women’s human rights.

Sincerely,

Cristina Finch
Policy and Advocacy Director, Women’s Human Rights
Amnesty International USA

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