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Teenage Pakistani education advocate Malala Yousufzai once told al-Jazeera TV, "If this new generation is not given pens, they will be given guns by terrorists." On October 10, Yousufzai was shot and critically wounded by Taliban assailants.

The attack prompted an international outcry because of her brave exposure of everyday life under Taliban oppression. Her revealing blog and support of children's rights made her a hero to young women seeking empowerment through learning— and an enemy of the Taliban, who strongly oppose education for women.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the "attack reminds us of the challenges that girls face, whether it is poverty or marginalization or even violence just for speaking out for their basic rights."

Sign the petition: Urge current Secretary of State John Kerry to continue supporting young women's right to actively pursue an education without violence.

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Dear Secretary Kerry:

As you are well-aware, 14-year-old Pakistani education advocate and activist-blogger Malala Yousufzai was wounded in late 2012 by bullets fired from the weapons of militant Taliban assailants. This attack was motivated by religious extremism and has prompted an international outcry among human rights advocates. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the shooting and stated that the incident should serve as a warning to other children who participate in "secular-minded" activities.

Yousufzai's tireless bravery in exposing the difficulties of living in the oppressive shadow of the Taliban is something to be applauded, and her desire to document that oppression is a right that should be protected. The harrowing, illuminating BBC blog she started at the age of 11 and her support of children's rights have inspired her peers and raised awareness around the dangerous obstacles these young Pakistani women face.

Tragically, the very acts that have made her a positive role model for young women rendered her an enemy of the Taliban, who strongly oppose schooling for women. In addition to possessing a healthy intellectual hunger, Yousafzai wants her generation to distance themselves from the cycle of violence that has plagued her homeland. As she once told al-Jazeera television, "The people of this nation are not terrorists. If this new generation is not given pens, they will be given guns by terrorists."

The shooting of Yousufzai is an atrocity on several critical levels. Violent acts against women of all ages in Pakistan are increasing with unsettling regularity, and the use of deadly force against a child is particularly barbaric. On a global, humanitarian scale, the attempt to silence the articulate voice of an ambitious young activist, author, and scholar is an affront to all who value the individual right to access the empowerment an education affords.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly and passionately condemned these actions. Please continue to do all you can to speak out against these atrocities and further pressure the Pakistani government to protect and support freedom of education for their nation's next generation of leaders.

Petition Signatures


May 20, 2018 Wanda Anthony
May 20, 2018 Kay Fisher
May 19, 2018 Sanand Dilip
May 19, 2018 Ananya Boonyarattaphun
May 19, 2018 Liliana fiorinl
May 18, 2018 JUANITA VELA
May 16, 2018 Danuta Baziuk
May 16, 2018 Louisa Gauerke
May 14, 2018 Susan Fisher
May 14, 2018 Andrea Bertram
May 11, 2018 Peter Houle
May 6, 2018 Murray Kaufman
May 5, 2018 doris gonen
May 4, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 3, 2018 Winifred Tonione
May 2, 2018 suzanne caruso
May 2, 2018 Lynne Minore
May 2, 2018 Daryl Purchase
Apr 25, 2018 Mary Jo Al-Tukhaim
Apr 24, 2018 Deborah Boychuk
Apr 18, 2018 Amy Weise
Apr 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2018 Janvie Cason
Apr 12, 2018 Fatima Raza
Apr 11, 2018 Helen Smylie
Apr 11, 2018 Sylvie Lavallée
Apr 8, 2018 Anne Montgomery
Apr 7, 2018 Lisa vasta
Mar 28, 2018 Teresa Cruz-Wortman
Mar 28, 2018 Marie Alabiso
Mar 22, 2018 virginia green
Mar 18, 2018 (Name not displayed) everyone deserves education
Mar 17, 2018 Nancy Mikelsons
Mar 16, 2018 Amy Smardz
Mar 16, 2018 Mary Ann Jones
Mar 14, 2018 Jennifer Wilson
Mar 12, 2018 Courtney Sulak
Mar 10, 2018 Jessica Haag
Mar 10, 2018 donna stoddard
Mar 9, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 7, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 5, 2018 Sara Vilhena
Mar 4, 2018 Sara Vilhena
Mar 2, 2018 Tammy Gardner
Mar 2, 2018 Glenna Harris Go, Malala. Keep up the good work. We are with you.
Mar 2, 2018 Brenda Choi
Feb 28, 2018 April Sunshine Kinsella
Feb 27, 2018 Sheila Dillon
Feb 26, 2018 Candice C
Feb 26, 2018 renay lawrence

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