Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion

Malala Yousafzai attack shows the need to keep pushing for women's education

The tragic assassination attempt in Pakistan against 14-year-old student Malala Yousafzai, merely because she was a female who spoke out for women's education, is a disturbing reminder that there are still places in our world where an educated woman is considered a threat. More disturbing still is that it occurred in a nation which 24 years ago elected Benazir Bhutto as the first female prime minister of a Muslim country. It is a potent reminder that progress for women does not always proceed linearly.

As the president of women-focused university and as provincial leader of its sponsoring organization, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who have been dedicated to educating women globally for over 175 years, we see this tragedy as affirmation of our mission to educate women leaders. Our university was founded on the radical notion that educating women can transform the world. The threat that Malala represents to some proves that our work is far from finished.

Campuses such as ours welcome women students from all over the world, including the Muslim world, where they can learn in a safe, respectful environment. Malala's forceful voice exhorts us to be vigilant in protecting the rights we have won, and fervent in eliminating the barriers to opportunity that persist. Whether it is in the Third World or the First, the essential work of educating women for leadership must never be considered accomplished, because sadly, the force of ignorance is never vanquished completely.

James F. Conneely and Sr. Kathleen Cornell, Baltimore

The writers are president of Notre Dame of Maryland University and provincial leader of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Malala the heroine
    Malala the heroine

    Our view: Protests bring outpouring of support for teenage girl who defied the Taliban

  • Add Malala Yousafzai to list of those who fought for truth
    Add Malala Yousafzai to list of those who fought for truth

    "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." -- Martin Luther King Jr. (quoting William Cullen Bryant)

  • It's the Taliban who blaspheme

    As a female doctor from Pakistan, I am disgusted by the assassination attempt against 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani blogger and women's rights activist ("Outspoken teen shot," Oct. 10).

  • Meghan Daum: Madonna's tone-deaf tattoo
    Meghan Daum: Madonna's tone-deaf tattoo

    There goes Madonna, classing up the joint again. To show her support of Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot and critically wounded by the Taliban because of her advocacy for girls' education, the Material Girl (a.k.a. Madge, Esther, the Queen of Pop, the Hottest Bod in the...

  • Legislation needed to protect foster kids' personal funds
    Legislation needed to protect foster kids' personal funds

    Our state foster care agencies are apparently so underfunded that they are taking resources from abused and neglected children. The agencies are taking control over foster children's Social Security benefits (when the children are disabled or have deceased parents) and using the children's...

  • A lifetime spent in service
    A lifetime spent in service

    After 30 years in the Senate and a half-century of public service to Maryland and the nation, Barbara Mikulski will retire from elected politics next year. She will leave a legacy as one of the state's most admired politicians and among the most influential women ever to serve in Congress.

Comments
Loading