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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


Apr 25, 2017 Stephen Moyer
Apr 25, 2017 Sabrina Degasperi
Apr 23, 2017 Kara Walmsley
Apr 22, 2017 Henry Mongrain
Apr 18, 2017 Chika Makise
Apr 14, 2017 Michelle Dumar
Apr 13, 2017 Lois Freeman
Apr 13, 2017 Sellma Batalha
Apr 12, 2017 dericka du toit education is a human right
Apr 12, 2017 André Henrique Bacci
Apr 10, 2017 johan Van Moerzeke
Apr 10, 2017 Susannah Gelbart
Apr 10, 2017 Diane McMahon
Apr 10, 2017 Joseph Cani
Apr 4, 2017 Darren Mitton
Apr 3, 2017 K.J. Herson
Mar 30, 2017 Patrizia Lazzeri i STRONGLY URGE current Secretary of State John Kerry to continue supporting young women's right to actively pursue an education without violence.
Mar 30, 2017 Linda Anderson
Mar 30, 2017 Linda K Swift
Mar 29, 2017 Tim Young
Mar 29, 2017 K. M.
Mar 28, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 28, 2017 Valéria Menicucci
Mar 27, 2017 Lisa Briggs
Mar 26, 2017 Joyce Haskins
Mar 26, 2017 William Sullivan
Mar 25, 2017 Cynthia Super
Mar 24, 2017 Katherine Oyarzun
Mar 24, 2017 Patricia Wirth-Nugent
Mar 24, 2017 Richard Laba
Mar 23, 2017 Sarah Mac Crossan
Mar 23, 2017 Russell Jackson
Mar 22, 2017 Tracy Goestenkors
Mar 21, 2017 resi hennebert
Mar 21, 2017 Farrah Townsend
Mar 20, 2017 Sophie Miranda
Mar 19, 2017 Katie Stansell
Mar 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 15, 2017 Pamela Fleck
Mar 15, 2017 Howard Block
Mar 11, 2017 Barb Breese
Mar 11, 2017 TAMMY FERRELL
Mar 11, 2017 Sigfrido Losada Torreiro
Mar 10, 2017 Maureen Downs
Mar 10, 2017 M. Browning
Mar 7, 2017 Peggy Phan
Mar 4, 2017 Michael Biggs
Mar 3, 2017 Margery Barlow
Feb 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 24, 2017 c. martinez

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