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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


May 4, 2016 DR CINDY BIGSBY WITHOUT A DECENT EDUCATION THESE YOUNG LADIES DONT STAND A CHANCE FOR A BETTER LIFE, MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD !
May 4, 2016 Richard Bosboom
May 3, 2016 Mirosław Sulima
May 3, 2016 Anne Burland
May 3, 2016 Brenda Lin
May 1, 2016 Yulia Rodnikova
Apr 30, 2016 Bonnie Oliver
Apr 30, 2016 Farook Chandiwala Yes, I agree; we should commit to increase education worldwide for both genders.
Apr 29, 2016 TAHTAH LOUBNA
Apr 29, 2016 Leslie Ann Rodarte
Apr 28, 2016 John Costanzo
Apr 27, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 27, 2016 Barb Benedict
Apr 27, 2016 Mick McMahon
Apr 26, 2016 maria soares
Apr 24, 2016 Lynne Smithson
Apr 23, 2016 Paula Hunt
Apr 23, 2016 nerea herrero
Apr 22, 2016 Sevda Karagedik
Apr 22, 2016 Janna Johnson
Apr 21, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 21, 2016 Алексей Жезлов
Apr 21, 2016 Garry Lough
Apr 20, 2016 María Jesús Calavia
Apr 20, 2016 maria licia catena
Apr 19, 2016 John Rybicki
Apr 15, 2016 Dimitris Konetas
Apr 14, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 14, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 13, 2016 Sarah Cilia
Apr 13, 2016 Megan McMillen
Apr 12, 2016 Angie Lovelace
Apr 12, 2016 Cecilia Gpe. Villalobos Gallardo
Apr 12, 2016 Donna Bradley
Apr 12, 2016 Benaifer Italia
Apr 12, 2016 Jackie Bade
Apr 12, 2016 Frances Luke
Apr 11, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 11, 2016 JOSE JESUS
Apr 11, 2016 Leslie Williams
Apr 11, 2016 Janice Bergeron
Apr 11, 2016 Aleksandar Sabotic
Apr 10, 2016 Terena Powell
Apr 10, 2016 Amanda Chavez
Apr 10, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 10, 2016 Elizabeth Rodriguez
Apr 10, 2016 Janet King
Apr 10, 2016 Cecilia Cohas
Apr 10, 2016 Marcia Bissett
Apr 10, 2016 Agata Purol

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