Home > women's issues > Pakistan’s Malala, Inspiring Oldest Daughter

Pakistan’s Malala, Inspiring Oldest Daughter

For the past few weeks, the eyes of the world have been riveted on Malala Yousufzai,  a 14-year old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head in an ultimate act of bullying by the Taliban.   They wanted to shut her up and so shut her  down — to bring an end to her insistent leadership that girls have a right to be educated.

But Malala’s body and her spirit have refused to go along with their scheme.    Her courage is defeating their cowardice, generating universal condemnation and inspiring tens of thousands of girls, women, and men to rally in Karachi on her behalf.

Last week from her hospital room at Birmingham England’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she was flown following her attempted murder, Malala let it be known that the incident has only strengthened her resolve.   Lying in bed, surrounded by her family,  she indicated she intends to return to school.

It was when I saw the video of her with her family, including her two younger brothers close by her side, that I realized Malala is her family’s  oldest child and only daughter.

Oldest daughters are universally expected to set the example for their younger siblings and, when necessary, to protect them.

Malala has expanded both roles beyond her family to the larger community.  In doing so she has set an example for the rest of us.

You can find more about the suppression of girls and what you can do to change those lives and perhaps encourage other young, struggling  oldest daughters on www.halfthesky.org

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  1. bbartocci
    November 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    A great commentary about a brave, courageous girl who is an extraordinary example of the personal leadership so often shown by oldest daughters.

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