Skip navigation

What can be learned from the Malala Yousafzai phenomenon?

Help

What can be learned from the Malala Yousafzai phenomenon?

Ready for QA
Unassigned
Sunday, Apr 27
High
General Task
3 years 25 weeks ago

To: The Children, Equity Network within The Communication Initiative

Group: The Voice of Children

Malala Yousafzai has been the phenomenon that highlights a vexing question for children and equity action. In a very short time she has gone from a local advocate for girls education in her local context to maybe the most prominent global voice on the rights of girls. Of course her circumstances are unique. But still the fact is that she has become a key voice for girls and children. Few would doubt her impact.

Amplifying the voice of those most affected is a key communication for development principle. When it comes to children there are many reasons why that is a difficult strategic principle to implement - their young age, comparative lack of understanding of the broader context in which they live, traditions in all countries that work against children having a voice, unfamiliarity with the communication processes, and many more.

But if we consider the combination of the principle of children's voices being an essential part of an equity approach and the demonstrated impact of such an approach as exemplified by the Malala phenomenon how can and should we take further steps? Perhaps four questions to prompt the conversation, sharing and support.

  1. How do you assess the Malala effect and process?
  2. How do you presently assess the performance of the Development community related to amplifying the voices of children?
  3. How can we further amplify the voices of children?
  4. Which initiatives do you regard as leading the way when it comes to the voices of children? Why?

In support of overall action on Children and Equity issues, please share your responses by either an email reply or clicking on Read More link below and entering comments on the platform.

With many thanks - Warren

Re: [Children and Equity] What can be learned from the Malala Yo

Type: Bug » General Task

To: The Children, Equity Network within The Communication Initiative
Group: The Voice of Children
Topic: What can be learned from the Malala Yousafzai phenomenon?

Disgusting! Is it not better that we pledge children will never have to grow up in circumstances like Malala?

In support of overall action on Children and Equity issues, please share your responses by either an email reply or clicking on Read More link below and entering comments on the platform.

The Malala effect

To: The Children, Equity Network within The Communication Initiative
Group: The Voice of Children
Topic: What can be learned from the Malala Yousafzai phenomenon?

Interesting questions. On Malala, she has raised the profile of girls' education and religious moderation through being a quite remarkable individual. She has advantages - largely positive and massive press coverage, an able biographer in Christina Lamb who skilfully put her achievements in the context of Pakistan's recent history, and powerful friends.

But she has also run the gauntlet of hostile social media postings and the accusation that she has become a political pawn in the hands of the Pakistan military, Pakistani politicians, and western leaders opposed to militant Islam. So she is a champion of girls' rights amongst those whose instincts is to champion them in any case, but has she influenced those whose cultural and religious beliefs oppose progress?

I don't know - but I would be interested if others have a view on this. It is always a problem if a champion for a cause becomes - often through no fault of their own - a divisive figure. But perhaps Malala's remarkable achievements at the UN and elsewhere means she has won support even amongst Taliban supporters?

In support of overall action on Children and Equity issues, please share your responses by either an email reply or clicking on Read More link below and entering comments on the platform.

Riskof being reduced to "window dressing"

To: The Children, Equity Network within The Communication Initiative
Group: The Voice of Children
Topic: What can be learned from the Malala Yousafzai phenomenon?

Malala indeed risked her life for the right to education of girls/women, a brave young girl. But after choosing to live in Britain, away from the worsening situation in Pakistan re:women's rights, there is a risk of her becoming "window dressing" for the cause.

Now, this might be a contentious point, but there need to be more modern, probing views on the status of women in Islamic countries made by Muslim women themselves, which unfortunately is not the case with Malala. Her comment on the BBC that "wearing a headscarf is my right & I will wear it", did not go down too well with many.

I'm from an Asian country and can tell you quite frankly that not all Muslim women like wearing headscarves or the next progression, the chador, though they are unable to articulate that feeling due to a lack of financial and social agency. The tragedy is that the Western world does not realise that the silence of these women is not real consent and the scarf is not an ornamentation but an active means of male domination of their space and rights.

We all know that serious activists like Ayan Hirsi Ali or Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen who have asked for reformation in Islamic laws have been met with death threats. Such women need to be given a larger space to raise more crucial questions on basic human rights which are denied to women in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

In support of overall action on Children and Equity issues, please share your responses by either an email reply or clicking on Read More link below and entering comments on the platform.

Malala's influence on girl's rights and education

To: The Children, Equity Network within The Communication Initiative
Group: The Voice of Children
Topic: What can be learned from the Malala Yousafzai phenomenon?

Malala is indeed a remarkable adolescent and has become an eloquent spokesperson for the rights of girls to education, among many other fundamental rights; all too often denied in strict, fundamentalist Islamic societies. I seriously doubt there is any support for her among the Taliban, or other extremists. And I would not expect it. From my experience in the region, it is almost impossible to reach a 'meeting of the minds', when those minds (Taliban in particular) are mired in the Dark Ages. The problem with religious fundamentalists is that there is very little common ground for discussions with secular governments on much of anything.

In support of overall action on Children and Equity issues, please share your responses by either an email reply or clicking on Read More link below and entering comments on the platform.

IMAECSED support Malala's action with some addition

To: The Children, Equity Network within The Communication Initiative
Group: The Voice of Children
Topic: What can be learned from the Malala Yousafzai phenomenon?

Comment by Samir Kumar Das

International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) is an Indian based NGO formed for mainly Human Rights Movement with some other developmental activities. I being a Human Rights Activist and associated with OHCHR and various other International Human Rights Org.& other, I always vehemently protest against the violation of Human Rights. You know in our Indian Constitution our Fundamental Rights has been enshrined in Part III and in many cases I defended for infringement of such right. Though your defense is for woman and children but I think it is a vital part in the present society. I like add one more significant idea Culture should be added with Education. I feel only education is not enough for development of complete knowledge. Whether the children or women has such facility for proper education culture is a must for social development and to raise their demand as a human being. I think to spread such culture and educational rights Public awareness played a primafacie role. I should not pass more comment now.

Samir Kumar Das Advocate & Chairman

In support of overall action on Children and Equity issues, please share your responses by either an email reply or clicking on Read More link below and entering comments on the platform.

Children and Equity
Need help?

Case Tracker

The case tracker gives you a way to track progress on your projects and assign cases to yourself and others.

  • Add projects to keep your cases organized.
  • Add cases to assign tasks or assignments to yourself and others for completion.
  • Cases can be reassigned, postponed, and closed, among other actions.
  • The history of a case - who it's been assigned to, its status and its priority - can be tracked viewing its comment thread.