Two years ago today, 15-year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai stood face-to-face with the masked gunman intent upon taking her voice away forever. He failed.
Ladies, her story is our story. Every day. It’s the people who call you dumb, feckless and emotional. It’s the people who favor male acumen over yours, even if you have the same level of experience and far superior skills. It’s the man who cuts you off on the freeway and hisses through his teeth, “Women shouldn’t drive.” It’s the construction worker who licks his lips and hoots about your “pretty dress” and how it would look “even better” on his floor.
Today is nationally recognized as Malala Day. And it does not just celebrate another year in the life of a woman who went on to become champion of women’s rights and education. It’s the day we won and our oppressors lost.
Malala is currently in Nigeria supporting “Bring Back our Girls,” a campaign to locate and rescue some 276 girls who were abducted from their school on April 14 in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists.
As a tribute to Malala Day, Girls Write Now – an organization that mentors young women and girls into writing and sharing their voices – released a beautiful, catchy song. “Ode to Malala” was a collaborative effort, from lyrics and melody to video production, by talented students of Girls Write Now. Turn up the speakers and give it a listen.
Oh, and Happy Malala Day.