Shocking news of Taliban oppression hits home

Did you know that in some countries women and girls don’t have freedoms and rights? In Pakistan and Afghanistan, there is a group called the Taliban who don’t allow women and girls to have freedoms and rights that American women and girls have.

This week, I read an article online about a 14-year-old girl named Malala from Pakistan. She doesn’t have the right to go to school because the Taliban doesn’t allow girls to go. But this has not stopped her from going to school and some other girls still go too. 

When she was only eleven years old, she started a blog where she wrote about how unfair it was that girls were told they couldn’t go to school. Her blog put her life in danger. She was told to stop wearing her uniform to school so she didn’t attract attention from the Taliban. 

The article reported that Malala was shot by the Taliban going home from school on Oct. 9. Malala was taken by helicopter to a military hospital and the doctor said she would survive. 

After reading about Malala, I was very surprised that she had been shot just because of the things she said on her blog. I have the freedom of the press and in my articles I write about whatever I want. I never have to worry about my life being at risk just because I write. I think Malala was very brave, and I can’t believe she started fighting for her right to go to school at only eleven years old. I am almost eleven, and I don’t think I would be able to do the things that she has done. 

In my social studies class my teacher, Ms. Mullarkey, is teaching us about the freedoms and rights American citizens have.  American citizens are guaranteed the freedom of speech, religion and the press. We have the right of assembly and the right to petition.

Freedom of speech means we can say what we think about the government. Freedom of religion means we can follow any religion we want to or none at all. Freedom of the press means we can put what we want in newspapers, on TV, online or in magazines. The right of assembly means we can meet with each other. The right to petition means we can make a petition about something and it might happen. 

Malala and her family and friends don’t have those same rights and freedoms, and I think it is really unfair. It makes me feel upset that the Taliban would do something like shoot a 14-year-old girl just for having an opinion that they don’t like.

I don’t think that many people would be as courageous as Malala and put their life in danger the way she has. I will always remember her story and hope that women and girls will someday have the same rights and freedoms that we do here in America.

Audrey Ray

Fifth-grader at Bay Middle School

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 10:02 AM, 10.16.2012