How would you feel if you were shot in the head three times because you suggested that girls should be allowed to go to school and lived?
In America, that idea would sound absolutely absurd. In Pakistan however, that idea was and still is very real.
For Malala Yousafzai, this became the reality when the Taliban invaded her town, Swat Valley, Pakistan.
The takeover was slow, and leader Fazlullah seemed to be promising, stating he would have sermons for the city, follow the Quran, and be the voice of reason. Over time, however, he and the Taliban started going against what they originally promised, creating new rules, fear and terror across the town.
The last straw was when they declared girls were no longer allowed to receive an education. If they were found at the school house, grave things would happen.
Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, owned a school in the city and was saddened to see less and less students attending day by day due to the threats of violence against them. He kept the school open until the day he and his family got the call that Malala and her classmates had been attacked.
The Taliban had shot Malala because she questioned why girls weren’t allowed to have an education.
They thought the bullets would silence her, but she lived and is now a world-renowned activist for equal female rights and education, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and other prestigious awards for her work and beliefs.
On March 21, Gia Ghanbari, employee at the Women’s Center and president of the American Association of University Women (A.A.U.W) club on campus was in charge of putting on the event that took place in the Wildcat Theatre at 6:30 p.m. She combined her knowledge from both departments, which helped her come to the decision of which movie to show. “We work around women’s equality, women’s empowerment, girls’ education and because I am an international student and it is Women’s History Month, we thought it would be a good idea to have a showing of the movie.”
When asked her opinion after the movie and if her view on education was altered, Catherine Shackelford, a current WSU student, stated she hadn’t seen the movie but saw the importance of education, noting that there is a definite cycle, and sees that Malala’s goal is to break that. “Schooling is important, especially in third world countries, even though it seems so small and so insignificant to everyone else, but really it’s so powerful, so it really just made me think deeper about education in that aspect.”
Sarah Dosier completed her thesis on women in Pakistan in relation to political science. She had done quite a bit of research in the area and came to view the movie knowing a large amount of background information, but had never actually seen it. “Seeing it displayed in front of you instead of reading about is very powerful, and made it made it very real.” She was able to connect the movie to her life, and was impressed with the quality of the film.
Even though Malala has become an activist for women rights and education, she wanted to do even more, so she has created a site, malala.org, which provides information on how to get involved and a link for donations because she believes “Education gives you the power to question things, to challenge things, and to be independent.”