Last month, the Sales Tax Institute staff focused on improving our understanding of the injustices surrounding the lack of education for girls around the world. Education is a tool that allows socioeconomic mobility and is a key element to escaping poverty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused record breaking numbers of children to be absent from school. A disproportionate amount of these children are already the most vulnerable and marginalized (United Nations). I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban gave us a powerful glimpse into the education system in Pakistan from the perspective of an incredible young woman, Malala Yousafzai. Unfortunately, Pakistan isn’t the only country where there are challenges in the education systems.
Malala Yousafzai was born in 1997 and grew up in Mingora in the Swat Valley of Pakistan with her loving parents and siblings. She loved her home, her family, her friends, and her school. Unfortunately, her journey of ensuring that she received a proper education was far from easy, particularly when the Taliban regime took control of her valley.
Malala’s father raised her to believe that she had every right to be educated, just like the boys in her community. Her father was an activist both for girls’ education and against the Taliban’s extremist behaviors. Malala’s father inspired her to become an activist herself. By the age of 12, she was speaking out publicly on behalf of girls and their education. However, her activism made her a target for the Taliban.
In 2012, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban on the school bus. When the news broke, support for Malala came from across the world. Eventually, she was transferred to a hospital in Birmingham, England where she made a full recovery.
Even after this trauma, she continued fighting for what she believed. Her passion for peace and girls’ education put her on a global stage and at age 17, she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala’s story proves that just one person can make a difference.
In 2014, Malala established the Malala Fund which is dedicated to ensuring girls and women have the opportunity to choose their future. The mission of the Malala Fund aligns with the mission and values of The Sales Tax Institute, and we have made a financial contribution to the fund to help them continue in their mission. We encourage all who are able and willing to join us in donating.
During our staff book club discussion, we covered some points that we’d like to share with you.
If you’ve read I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban and have other thoughts or insights, we’d love to hear them. Email us here.
Next, the Sales Tax Institute will take on Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. We’d love to have you join us on our next journey. We encourage you to support your independent local bookstores. Our neighborhood bookstore is Sandmeyer’s Bookstore in historic Printer’s Row Chicago. Join us and support your own favorite local store!