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The limits of freedom for educated girls in Malala's Pakistan

The limits of freedom for educated girls in Malala's Pakistan | Geography Education |
In a country this battered, fractured, dysfunctional – how much can she really hope to achieve?

The issue of female education in Pakistan has exploded after Malala Yousafzai was attacked by the Taliban for publicly advocating for girls to receive more schooling.  This attack has lead several media outlets to take a more serious look at the gendered cultural and economic opportunities (or lack thereof) for girls within Pakistan.  This NPR podcast also speaks of the real options in front of so many girls like Malala and the cultural and political contexts within which they navigate their lives.


Tags: gender, South Asia, podcast, culture, Islam, development, unit 3 culture, education.

Daishon Redden's curator insight, April 22, 2014 10:00 AM

I chose this article because it talks about limit of freedom in LDC's and how girls are not allowed to get an education. This was the main idea of what Half The Sky was. Girls no being given the same rights as boy.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 1:40 PM

Starting this article response off with a quote seems only appropriate. This article follows Malala Yousafzai through her horrific experience being victimized by the Talaiban. She is an inspiring girl with all the set backs she has had to endure and she wants the right for an education for Women in her country and society. She is determined in order to create a better life for herself and her people. “The peasants had a very difficult situation, but they didn’t give up,” Aroosa says in English. “They fought back, and got power. Girls can fight back and can get an education. A girl can bring a big change.”

Kendra King's curator insight, March 28, 8:45 PM

It would make sense for the immediate well-being of the girls for the family to just leave Pakistan. As the article mentioned, the economy is horrible for graduates (especially women) and the country lives in a dangerous military state. Yet, the family (excluding the father) continues to stay in Pakistan. I wonder, since their father is a doctor and can afford private schooling, if they stay because of the wealth advantage. As the author alluded to, girls can be more than teachers if they have the resources like Prime Minster Buhtto did. Still though, with the danger so high and better jobs available I really think there is more to the story. The explanation that makes most sense to me came from Mahrukh’s statement regarding Prime Minster Buhtto when she said, “Everyone has to go from this world, why not be famous? Why not make a name and leave your name on people’s lips.” This quote shows just how dedicated Mahrukh is to her country. It is so high that she is willing to die doing something important (provided it makes her famous).  In some ways, I find that misguided. I think the attention girls like her and Malala can bring to people who are donating to the politically broken school is of immense value. This attention wakes more people up to the issues of Pakistan and the issues of the Taliban to one day put more pressure on the nation. Yet, I know Malala doesn’t want to continue to raise awareness among the Western world her whole life. Her autobiography ends with her dreaming of returning to Pakistan. Like Mahrukh, she will die for her country too (308-311). A part deep down can see though, that for a revolution to happen the girls need to actually stay within the country. For one, the west can only interfere with the politics of another country for so long. Furthermore, I am still a legitimate believe in sovereignty despite the increasing globalization. By this I mean that it is the countries issue and it is through the pressure and convictions of the people against the government and the Taliban that will have the most impact. I hope that by staying these girls will one day have an immense impact on the social culture in Pakistan. 


*Yousafzai, Malala, and Christina Lamb. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. First ed. New York: Little, Brown, 2013. 308-311. Print.
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