Posts Tagged ‘schools’

The rights of girls to an education

October 24, 2012
UN Messenger of Peace Paulo Coelho with Malala on screen

UN Messenger of Peace Paulo Coelho with Malala on screen

I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves. — Mary Wollstonecraft

The terrorists showed what frightens them most: a girl with a book. – Ban Ki-moon, UN Secetary General

Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) was a member of a group of radical intellectuals called the English Jacobins. Her book A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) argued equal educational opportunities for women.  She was the mother of Mary Shelley.

A tale of two young bloggers, nine-year-old Martha Payne and Fourteen-year-old Malala. One in Scotland, one in Pakistan.

Martha Payne writes a food blog NeverSeconds. Pathetic jobsworth at her local council tried to gag her. She fought back. She raised money for Friends of NeverSeconds a kitchen for school children in Malawi, has been honoured with various awards, has co-written a book due to be published next month.

Malawa writes a blog calling for education for girls.

Fourteen-year-old Malala was shot  in the head at point blank range by the Pakistani Taliban for daring to suggest that girls might read, that they should have an education.

The first word of the Koran is read. It does not say only men read, it does not say deny girls an education.

Two years ago saw the start of the Arab Spring in Tunisia. People did not take to the streets to see a takeover by Muslim extremists who are even more oppressive than the dictators who were overthrown.

The Muslim extremists who are trying to hijack the Arab Spring want to see the clock set back to the Middle Ages, they wish to bastardise women, deny them of any rights.

These are some of their demands

  • a woman committing adultery 100 lashes if single, stoning to death if married
  • girls forced into marriage aged nine-years-old
  • denial of education for girls
  • women to be covered up from head to toe with only eyes showing
  • drinking of alcohol, 60 lashes

Malawa fortunately survived being shot in the head, she is in hospital in Birmingham recovering.

There are many girls like Malawa who do not recover, who we do not hear about.

The Taliban drove up to Malala’s school and shot her in the neck and brain. Despite being hit at close range, this fourteen-year-old champion of girls’ education is surviving.

Many in Pakistan and around the world have now united behind Malala and her cause. This is a tipping point moment and if we act now we can help achieve the very thing she was targeted for: let’s call on the government of Pakistan to fund girls attending school, starting with her province.

This is our chance to turn Malala’s horror into hope. At her very young age she is an example of courage and determination, but now she is fighting to survive, and it’s our turn to help her win her dream. Sign the petition — when 1 million people have signed the UN education envoy, Gordon Brown, will deliver our call in person to the President of Pakistan, and the Pakistani media:

It is now our turn to turn the spotlight on the Taliban and other extremists.

Malala drew the world’s attention to the Taliban’s reign of terror in North-West Pakistan by writing a blog for the BBC. Her writing records the devastating consequences of extremism which include the systematic destruction of hundreds of girls’ schools and violent intimidation of thousands of families.

Pakistan’s constitution says girls should be educated alongside boys, but politicians have ignored that for years. Only 29% of girls attend secondary school. Even if only half of them finished, Pakistan could grow 6% faster every year. Study after study has shown the positive impact on personal and national income when girls are educated. Malala has drawn the world’s attention, and her President has spoken out strongly for her cause. So let’s help her persuade the government to roll out a massive girls stipend programme, plus school buildings and teacher training. Money is available, what’s lacking is political will.

Let’s turn this shock at the Taliban’s attack on a young girl into a wave of international pressure that forces Pakistan to address girls’ education. Please follow through the link to a petition, stand with Malala and support a massive girls’ education campaign in Pakistan, backed by resources, security and most importantly the will to fight the extremists who tear down Pakistan:

Let’s come together and stand in solidarity with a brave, young activist, who is showing the world how one little schoolgirl can stand up to armed and dangerous extremists.

Please pass to all your friends and ask then to sign and pass on.

We will only defeat religious extremists when we all stand shoulder-to-shoulder to defeat them.

Religion can be a force for good, but when it goes bad it goes very bad.

Hundreds of lollipop ladies to be fired

December 28, 2010
hundreds of lollipop ladies to be fired

hundreds of lollipop ladies to be fired

Not satisfied with scrapping Bookstart, not content with increasing student university tuition fees three fold and scrapping Education Maintenance Allowance for the poorest students, the latest slash and burn of public services is to fire hundreds of lollipop men and women who help kids safely across the road as they leave school.

At what cost in terms of maimed and killed school kids?

Every day in 2009, 12 children were killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Hundreds of lollipop ladies to be laid off