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Teenage Pakistani education advocate Malala Yousufzai once told al-Jazeera TV, "If this new generation is not given pens, they will be given guns by terrorists." On October 10, Yousufzai was shot and critically wounded by Taliban assailants.

The attack prompted an international outcry because of her brave exposure of everyday life under Taliban oppression. Her revealing blog and support of children's rights made her a hero to young women seeking empowerment through learning— and an enemy of the Taliban, who strongly oppose education for women.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the "attack reminds us of the challenges that girls face, whether it is poverty or marginalization or even violence just for speaking out for their basic rights."

Sign the petition: Urge current Secretary of State John Kerry to continue supporting young women's right to actively pursue an education without violence.

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Dear Secretary Kerry:

As you are well-aware, 14-year-old Pakistani education advocate and activist-blogger Malala Yousufzai was wounded in late 2012 by bullets fired from the weapons of militant Taliban assailants. This attack was motivated by religious extremism and has prompted an international outcry among human rights advocates. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the shooting and stated that the incident should serve as a warning to other children who participate in "secular-minded" activities.

Yousufzai's tireless bravery in exposing the difficulties of living in the oppressive shadow of the Taliban is something to be applauded, and her desire to document that oppression is a right that should be protected. The harrowing, illuminating BBC blog she started at the age of 11 and her support of children's rights have inspired her peers and raised awareness around the dangerous obstacles these young Pakistani women face.

Tragically, the very acts that have made her a positive role model for young women rendered her an enemy of the Taliban, who strongly oppose schooling for women. In addition to possessing a healthy intellectual hunger, Yousafzai wants her generation to distance themselves from the cycle of violence that has plagued her homeland. As she once told al-Jazeera television, "The people of this nation are not terrorists. If this new generation is not given pens, they will be given guns by terrorists."

The shooting of Yousufzai is an atrocity on several critical levels. Violent acts against women of all ages in Pakistan are increasing with unsettling regularity, and the use of deadly force against a child is particularly barbaric. On a global, humanitarian scale, the attempt to silence the articulate voice of an ambitious young activist, author, and scholar is an affront to all who value the individual right to access the empowerment an education affords.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly and passionately condemned these actions. Please continue to do all you can to speak out against these atrocities and further pressure the Pakistani government to protect and support freedom of education for their nation's next generation of leaders.

Petition Signatures

Feb 18, 2018 Jeanette Kelly
Feb 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2018 Lisa Langcake
Feb 15, 2018 Axa Tolonen
Feb 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 13, 2018 Bonnie Steiger
Feb 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 13, 2018 Helga Lobinger
Feb 10, 2018 Sandra Cobb
Feb 3, 2018 McKayla Murphy
Feb 2, 2018 Eva Avrampou
Feb 2, 2018 Marilyn Meixner
Jan 29, 2018 Andrey Yushchenko
Jan 28, 2018 Julie Berberi
Jan 25, 2018 Kevin Dahl
Jan 22, 2018 Lisa Trendall
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Jan 19, 2018 Kim Taylor
Jan 18, 2018 Danielle Evans
Jan 18, 2018 Shabnam Shafiq
Jan 17, 2018 Kimberly Nemeth
Jan 15, 2018 Elizabeth Wolff
Jan 14, 2018 Kathy Smith
Jan 14, 2018 Dorothy Henry
Jan 11, 2018 Jen Valentino
Jan 10, 2018 s w
Jan 10, 2018 Ken Stein
Jan 9, 2018 Paola DeCastro
Jan 7, 2018 Lily Dayan Cimadoro
Jan 5, 2018 stephanie Spiers
Dec 29, 2017 Amanda Stogner
Dec 28, 2017 Damian Urban
Dec 26, 2017 Hillary Maurer
Dec 25, 2017 Mr and Mrs Richard N. Huff
Dec 22, 2017 Christian Müller
Dec 17, 2017 kathleen conroy
Dec 16, 2017 Charity Hume
Dec 13, 2017 Dan Michaud
Dec 13, 2017 Matteo Sisti
Dec 11, 2017 Mark Berriman
Dec 10, 2017 barbara gale
Dec 10, 2017 Michalla Courtorielle
Dec 9, 2017 Henry Mobley
Dec 9, 2017 Jennifer Schmitz
Dec 7, 2017 Alvena Pauls
Dec 2, 2017 robin karlsson
Nov 29, 2017 DayLynn McDonald
Nov 29, 2017 michael blechman
Nov 23, 2017 Terri Lynch

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