And A Little Child Will Lead Them

Isaiah 11:16  The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

At the age of 11/12, a young girl named Malala  Yousafzai wrote a blog detailing her life under Taliban rule and her views on education for girls.  That summer a documentary featured her and her fight for education for girls.  Suddenly people around the world were listening to a little girl.  She gave interviews in print and on television.  She has since been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu and has won Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize. A number of prominent individuals, including the Canadian Minister of Citizenship, are supporting a petition to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2009, the Taliban issued an edict that girls could not attend schools.  They began to destroy the Girl’s schools while leaving the Boy’s school standing.   Malala had been studying for exams and wrote about her fear and concern that she would not be able to take her exams.  On Oct.9th, her bus was pulled over by terrorists and she and her friend were shot.  She is recovering, but threats against her and her father have continued.  Her passion and words have made even the Taliban stop and pay attention.  The world has rallied around a young girl who was willing to share her”voice”.

A friend shared the link for the petition for the Nobel Peace Prize on her facebook page as part of the 30 Days of Gratitude challenge. She shared gratitude for her education.  As women, we often take our freedom to pursue education for granted.  Basic education provides girls and women with an understanding of basic health, nutrition, and family planning, giving them choices and the power to make decisions over their own lives and bodies. Women’s education leads directly to better reproductive health, improved family health, economic growth, for the family and for society, as well as lower rates of child mortality and malnutrition. It is also key in the fight against the spread of HIV & AIDS*.  (*Right to Education Project report)

Many countries  still see women as property or less than human.  Gender based abortions, trafficking of women, mutilation of girls, and lack of protection under law for rape and violence against women are issues around the world. Women in the United States fare better than in much of the world, yet women weren’t allowed equal protection under the law in the US until 1964.   In 2010 women who worked full-time, year round, still only earned 77 percent of what men earned.  In our recent election process we heard several politicians make comments showing their lack of understanding and disrespect of women.

I have a very vivid imagination.  My friends know, understand, and accept this.  I still have a rather childlike, naive belief that each of us can effect change.  I didn’t find my “voice” until I was in my late 30’s and I have taken baby steps in using it.  I started out whispering and I am now working on learning to shout.  I know my words won’t change the world, but what if it makes just a few of you think and question.  We will not always agree but we can be open to hear other ideas and concerns.

Malala lives in a world that  is filled with violence and retribution.  She sp0ke out and shared her voice in spite of that.  A young girl spoke out and the world heard her.    I want to follow her example.  I intend to use my “voice” and speak out, share my concerns, and take action where I can.   I pray for Malala and her family.  I pray for her safety and return to full health.  I pray that her voice will not be silenced.

This blog post is part of NaBloPoMo.  The theme for November’s NaBloPoMo is blogging for blogging’s sake.

9 responses

  1. Powerful post. Thank you.

    Found you through NaBloPoMo.

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    1. Great! Thanks for the follow !

      Like

  2. It is just awful what goes on around the world.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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  3. Reblogged this on Teacher as Transformer and commented:
    This is such a powerful story. It gives one hope and faith in the future when we have young people who are determined to better their lives despite the risks.

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  4. There is an irony in a certain Celtic story of the king who used a woman (his wife) as a footstool. The footstool is a metaphor for the kingdom and the land, the footstool was the strength behind the king’s reign. The king abused his wife, so she left him, he then became weak and he lost his kingdom soon after. In Celtic culture to abuse a woman was to risk the land turning on the man or tribe with dire consequences, for it gives strength in battle, good health and abundance of prosperity. Celtic and Basque culture are matriarchal meaning women have high status; any culture which place man above women where women are seen as inferior is patriarchal (sadly most of the world).

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  5. I have been following Malala’s story and pray for her daily. Such a powerful, strong young woman. A Rosa Parks attitude. Praise God! Excellent piece thank you Ivonprefontaine for directing me here.

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  6. I hear your voice, Cathy. And thanks.

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  7. jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com | Reply

    Great post .l have written a poem about Malala.The voice from Heaven.jalal

    Like

  8. You’re not naive. Voices like yours can make a difference. Malala’s story wouldn’t have become so well known if people like you had not shared it. Great post.

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