As Malala fights for her life in a British hospital, it seems her tragic situation has sparked a country, and perhaps a region, and a world into action. By some reports, the support for Malala has become so widespread in Pakistan that the the Taliban is at last "losing in the court of public opinion" there. Women have been mobilizing across the region in the hundreds and thousands to protest the Taliban's hard line on the rights of women and girls. Watching the video below, I can't help but feel welled up with pride for my brave Pakistani sisters. I imagine how much more risky it is for them to do this.
Wouldn't it be ironic if what it takes to defeat global terrorism is not another drone attack, not another military operation, not some complicated political negotiation, but one brave fourteen year old girl?
A recent study on violence against women conducted over four decades and in 70 countries reveals that the mobilization of feminist movements is the most important factor for bringing about change, more important for than the wealth of nations, left-wing political parties, or the number of women politicians. (The study in the September, 2011 issue of American Political Science Review (APSR), was published by Cambridge University Press for the American Political Science Association (APSA)). That women are out protesting in the streets, lighting candles, shedding tears (see video below), and chanting their heartfelt demand for change....well this is the most hopeful and helpful thing I have ever seen in my lifetime to move the region and the world towards peace and progress.
Malala is said to be doing well recovering from her injuries. When and if she returns to her country, you can expect she will be greeted as a global heroine by throngs of women and girls. By participating in protests, these women and girls have been transformed by a powerful sense of their own enoughness as agents of truth and change. They are, perhaps for the first time, saying "Enough is enough!" In many ways, Malala has taught them how to speak up, how to stand in their own truth.
Here in this country, the timing could not be better for us to become activated by Malala. Millions watched the PBS 2 part series "Half the Sky" just a week ago, a documentary following celebrities as they visited other "Malalas" who are fighting for women's rights in other oppressive and dangerous places across the globe. The themes were the same, women fighting insurmountable odds just to get an education and to live free of abuse, exploitation and violence. This situation is real and widespread. The cameras are rolling now. The world is paying attention. The global spotlight is on the fact that our global sisters do not have basic human rights, safety, protections and freedoms. In many places they are treated as less than human. We know this now. So what will we do? This is our moment of profound realization and mobilization. Our sisters need our help. Will we stand in solidarity? Will we say "Enough!"?
Could it be that one girl is ENOUGH to change the world? YES IT CAN!
Stand with us to say, "Enough!" If you want to stand in solidarity with your global sisters, how about holding an ENOUGH! rally on Mother's Day, 2013? The idea is simple, and you have plenty of time to plan. Call your friends and have them call their friends. Agree to meet on a bridge in your community at noon, and stand together. We are suggesting each woman make a paper chain about 3 feet long, and write her Enough statements on each link. (ex: Enough violence against women!") While on the bridge, join your chains together and hoist them overhead, chanting Enough! Have one person with a video camera or voice recorder go down the line and ask each woman to say one "Enough: statement. Then send it to us, post it to YouTube, send it to your local media outlets! Your chain could go on display at your local library or community center as a lasting reminder that when it comes to the rights of women and girls, we aren't done yet.
Enough! This is going to be a meaningful journey.
Let's do this together. Let's claim we are ENOUGH to change the world.