Today the world is praying for a teenage advocate. Malala Yousafzai became famous a few years ago when, as an 11-year-old girl, she wrote a diary/blog about her battle to attend school in Taliban controlled Pakistan. She wrote under a pseudonym at first for safety, but became internationally known a few years later when the Taliban fell from power, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011. Just two days ago, she was shot in the head by fanatics who do not agree that girls have a right to education and a right to speak out about injustice.
This is a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, infuriating wrong in our world today. I have not personally experienced anything like this kind of persecution for being a woman, but this is not one isolated case. There is way too much of this degradation, abuse, limitation, and violence against women and girls in our world today. I cannot ignore it.
Neither can I ignore or tolerate the “lesser” injustices of unfair treatment, off-color jokes, disrespect or lack of opportunities for women that I do encounter on a regular basis. I believe that those attitudes and actions reflect an incomplete understanding of the urgent and severe situation for women in the world. Rather than “laugh it off” or excuse it as unintended, culturally accepted, or not-so-bad, I believe that each of these situations is an important opportunity to educate, mobilize, and empower a society to correct the wrong and the sin in our world.
Malala needs our prayers today. We all need God’s help to do what is right. We need to encourage each other in our God-given value and our God-given purpose on the earth for good. May we join together, men and women, to protect our children from harm, educate and develop the talents and gifts He has given us, and work together to fulfill His good purposes in our world today.
What can you do as an advocate today?