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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 12, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Feb 12, 2016 Brandon Danaher
Feb 12, 2016 michael muller
Feb 8, 2016 Mary Morrison
Feb 8, 2016 William Mullen Crotty They deserve an education just as any male child does.
Feb 8, 2016 Anne Moeller
Feb 6, 2016 Sarah Robbins
Feb 2, 2016 Marci Martinolich
Feb 1, 2016 Walter Schultz
Feb 1, 2016 Amanda Dickinson
Jan 31, 2016 giuliana donadio
Jan 28, 2016 Janice Banks
Jan 27, 2016 Maryanne Thompson
Jan 23, 2016 Alexis Azcárate
Jan 22, 2016 Joan Cuplin John Kerry, it's Imperative that young women are continued to be supported in their Rights!!!!!!!!
Jan 22, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jan 21, 2016 jahnavi vibha
Jan 20, 2016 Stephanie Brake
Jan 19, 2016 Evelien Jacobs
Jan 17, 2016 Lone Klitgaard
Jan 15, 2016 debra gale
Jan 14, 2016 Christine Partridge
Jan 14, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jan 14, 2016 Darlene Ross
Jan 14, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jan 13, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jan 12, 2016 Vassiliki Dimitroula
Jan 10, 2016 Allison Richards
Jan 10, 2016 John Erkki Warren
Jan 10, 2016 Maria Mason
Jan 10, 2016 Linda L.-Schaeffer
Jan 10, 2016 Robin Gregory
Jan 10, 2016 (Name not displayed) Every person, every child has the right to an education. To freedom and hope.
Jan 10, 2016 Glen Anderson
Jan 10, 2016 Yvonne Ray
Jan 10, 2016 Kristine Cormier
Jan 10, 2016 Vivian Bartlett
Jan 10, 2016 Ivonne Jungbauer
Jan 7, 2016 Brandi Bell MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS OUR CHILDREN!
Jan 7, 2016 Mei Lou Klein
Jan 6, 2016 Amber Stephens
Jan 5, 2016 Valerie Brown
Jan 5, 2016 Siân Thomas
Jan 5, 2016 Peg Cancienne
Jan 3, 2016 Francine Allen
Jan 3, 2016 Laurie Hayko
Jan 3, 2016 Laura Schafer
Jan 3, 2016 Elaine Davis
Jan 2, 2016 Lina Paavilainen
Jan 1, 2016 Kim Starr

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