credit: United Nations Photo via creative commons

Malala’s Message

Why the world should care about Malala — and all the girls like her, all around the world

A year ago I sat in a New York City public high school and listened to a girl from West Africa tell me about her own personal and years-long fight to stay in school.

It didn’t look likely.

Like Malala, they want simply to have the opportunity to pick up a pencil, read a book and become who they would be if no barriers stood in their way.

If you want a safer, richer, better educated and more stable world, in other words,
it begins with education. For everyone.

We will never know how much potential is lost to the thwarted dreams and suffocated hopes of girls torn from their studies. But we can be certain it will leave all of us a world that is poorer, less healthy and more dangerous.

Author of New York Times best sellers “Ashley’s War” and “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.” Adjunct senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations. All views mine.

Author of New York Times best sellers “Ashley’s War” and “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.” Adjunct senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations. All views mine.