Back in October when 15-year-old girls' education activist Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out against them, the world rallied to condemn the violence against her. Yousufzai's currently recovering in a U.K. hospital but she shared a message full of gratitude and a call to action with Anderson Cooper so he could share it at CNN's "Heroes" ceremony on Sunday night.
"Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and support," Yousufzai said in a written statement. "I thank the people that supported me without distinguishing religion and color. People have actually supported a cause, not an individual. Let's work together to educate girls around the world."
When you read entries from Yousufzai's pseudonymous blog for the BBC, "Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl"—like the one where she writes how she dreads an upcoming vacation since the Taliban had banned girls' education and she and her peers knew that if the edict was implemented, "they would not be able to come to school again"—it's clear that her courageous campaign for girls' education absolutely must go on in Pakistan.
At the same time, Yousufzai is right in calling the problem a global one. Every set of statistics from the United Nations to the World Bank shows a significant education gender gap across the world. Fixing that certainly requires a long term commitment. It's a relief to know that Yousufzai's still recovering and will continue to be part of that fight.
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