Critical Analysis of ‘I am Malala’
‘I Am Malala’ is an autobiography, and it was written by Malala Yousafzai. It has its beginning based on the life of a young girl who calls modern Pakistan her home. Malala, who is a teenager, is very outspoken, and her interests are based on girl education importance and right. In her culture, this is not a topic that is taken lightly since girls are seen as submissive objects with no right to make their own decisions. She is thus a target for the Taliban, which is a religious group that upholds women roles from a different point of view from that of her own in the Pakistan society. On her way from school one day, she was shot in the head but she was able to recover at a British hospital, where she received adequate care and rehabilitation. Is girl education so wrong that we feel the need to kill its advocates?
In 1979, General Zia ul-Haq who is a former ruler of the military in Pakistan launched Islamization program that has since then created hardships for the women in the state. In that period, history dictates that many women were raped, and instead of justice being bestowed upon them, they were convicted of adultery. On the other hand, the men who were reported responsible for committing the inhuman acts were set free. That created legal loopholes where many criminals who had been arrested for various crimes were set free. With the resurgence of the Taliban in Pakistan in the present day, women status is still in question. Most people can recall the video of the 17-year-old girl who was flogged in Swat, in the name of religion.
Why do women in Pakistan have to go through agony over and over again even in this modernized error? That question has been argued by many researchers, and they have tried to explain in accordance with their own understanding of why Pakistan has not been able to secure rights and freedoms of their women. Analysts in the political sector believe that the history of the country contributes a lot in the present state of the country. In 1947, religion was used to bind ethnic communities in the country together, and it thus became a strong tool in the political leadership of the country. Religion was thus used as a mode of identity, and it so happened that Islam did not value the social, economic or political importance of women at any level close to that of men. In 1971, the eastern wing of Pakistan was lost to religious realities, and that provided primacy to religiopolitical parties. Many of the factions were coded by Zia regime which had the same kind of views about women and their social status in the society. The groups have thus maintained this unfair culture till today, and that explains the position of women in Pakistan to date (Sohail 215).
Women education has not been left out. According to research, when women attain an education, they get empowered and are aware of their rights and freedoms. This is a risk to change of the Pakistan culture, where the men enjoy supremacy against the women. They thus do everything they can to ensure girl education is not encouraged in the country. It is thus not surprising when we see them blowing up girl schools like they have done in Swat and Malakand in recent years. This is not a reason for them to give up. Women should continue fighting for their rights until they are heard. In this, they should realize that Islam plays a major role in their lives which most of the time results in hardship and discrimination. The government should also enhance girl education for the sake of the future of the country.
From our book ‘I Am Malala’, we see Malala advocating for girl education and women’s rights, even though it threatens her life. Despite her young age, she understands how important education for girls is, and sees how different it makes her country from others like The USA and The Great Britain. When she is hospitalized in Britain, her father is seen struggling to enhance Malala’s vision by trying to construct a school that would support girl education. Her mother who is not as educated also wishes she was learned so that she could participate more in enhancing girl education. The family is thus seen to understand the importance of girl education and with their selflessness; we only hope they manage to change at least a fraction of those against girl education.
Girl education is an important aspect of our society. When a girl is taken to school just like the boys, they are expected to spend their early years in school at least until the age of 20. This reduces their chances of early marriages. That is because early marriages are seen to occur between the age of nine and fifteen and this destroys the childhood and young adulthood of the affected girls. Ensuring that they spend this time in school thus means they get to enjoy their young adulthood and also works hand in hand with a reduction of population. Population reduction is brought about by late marriages meaning that the women have lesser years to get children before they attain menopause. That ensures that the country maintains a population that it can comfortably feed. Education also enhances women to understand the importance of having a manageable family, and they can thus decide on their fertility. That is where they can make decisions about how many children they will get. That reduces dependency rates and ensures the stability of the economy (Nasrullah10).
Educating women means that they end up having a career. Women can thus make it have a well-paying job just like the men. They are thus given an opportunity to earn an income. They thus contribute to the financial responsibilities and stability of their families and that lightens the load for the men. Families can thus use the extra resources in investments to secure a better future for their children. This works to reduce dependency rates in the country, and this improves the economy of it. Health conditions and sanitation also improve especially that of women and children, and this reduces the mortality rates (Yuki 49).
From the above, we have analyzed the state of women’s position in Pakistan and the importance of change. Change is seen to enhance development in many aspects that have more weight than just preserving culture. It is thus urgent to carry out a comprehensive analysis on the life of women according to the Islam community. Religious leaders should thus dialogue with scholars to enhance the advancement of the understanding of the human and women rights that are accepted universally and those of the Islam community. That will enhance a holistic vision of the social justice of women within Islam.
Yuki, Takako. Promoting Gender Parity In Basic Education: Lessons From A Technical Cooperation Project In Yemen. International Review Of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift Für Erziehungswissenschaft, 59.1 (2013): 47-66. Academic Search Premier.
Nasrullah, Muazzam. Knowledge And Attitude Towards Child Marriage Practice Among Women Married As Children-A Qualitative Study In Urban Slums Of Lahore, Pakistan. BMC Public Health 14.1 (2014): 1-13. Academic Search Premier.
Sohail, Mariam. Women Empowerment And Economic Development-An Exploratory Study In Pakistan. Journal Of Business Studies Quarterly 5.4 (2014): 210-221.