A True Youth Icon
Hello Athenas! Long time no see, but here I am now. Women in media. Well, this brings to mind a multitude of images. Which one should I pick? Oh yes, let’s discuss a gutsy school-girl from Pakistan who, despite her tender age, has made the world sit up and take notice. The media in its various forms is the platform from which she campaigns for girls’ right to education.
I’m talking about 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who a year ago, was shot in the head and critically wounded by the Taliban for publicly speaking out for girls’ right to education. She not only survived the attack, but also picked up right where she left off before she was shot.
“How dare the Taliban take away my right to education?” she had asked on Pakistani television when she was no more than 11 years old. Then she was asked by the BBC to write a blog about life under the Taliban. By the time she was 15, she had become quite well-known in Pakistan as a campaigner for girls’ education.
Now, after having survived the attempt on her life, she’s more active than ever in campaigning for girls’ right to education. Some even call her the bravest girl in the world. Her recent speech at the United Nations must have surely been a shot in the arm for everyone who had heard it.
This young woman is using world media judiciously to garner attention for a very important issue. Former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush has compared Malala to Holocaust diarist Anne Frank. World leaders sing the young lady’s praises. And wherever she goes, whoever she meets, she always speaks her mind.
Whether its meeting the Queen or talking to other students like her, this young lady is surely changing the way media can be used. Apart from brainless entertainment, media is a very strong tool and she has used in every right sense to show the power of women or rather in this case of one single young girl.
A youth icon? Surely Malala fits the bill. And all because of global media.