I am Malala Book Review

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The book I am Malala gyrates around the story of a fourteen-year-old girl fighting for the women's right to education. Malala was born and raised in Pakistan, where she narrates the life-shattering moments in the land. At her tender age, Malala began to develop a stronger character to the extent of questioning her father regarding the reason of women being maltreated in Pakistan. However, his father relates the scenario to that of Afghanistan where girl schools were burnt down, and women forced to well full burqa, saying that the situation in Pakistan was a bit better. Later in the year, Pakistan was hit by an earthquake that was so intense in the north. The religious preachers started preaching claiming that it was a warning from God for the people of the country to change. Consequently, some imams began broadcasting the message on their radio stations and illegal airwaves. For instance, Fazlullah urged citizens to stop dancing, listening to music and going to the movies or else God would send another catastrophe. However, Malala having gone to school realized that the ideology was not right since earthquakes were geological events and were scientifically explainable. Women in Malala’s locality were uneducated; hence, they relied on the radio station for the information contributing to the popularity of Fazlullah sermons in a short span.

Fazlullah began criticizing girl’s school in the locality claiming that they were “haram,” which meant forbidden in Islamic. Further, he claimed that women should stay at home and only get out in case of emergencies, but when wearing a burqa. Two years later, Fazlullah became popular to the extent that his claims horrified Malala after claiming that all girls’ schools were “haram.” Malala’s transformation moment began after the assassination of Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. She fought against Fazlullah and the Taliban’s and later killed in an explosion on one of her live television events. Following the occurrence, Malala realized that no one was safe in the country and began displaying her courage by attending school and fighting against the Taliban. She wrote articles under false names and participated in an interview on national television shows to support girl's education. However, as time elapsed, some Taliban militants tried to halt her by stopping her bus on her way home and shot her in the head as a way of ensuring that her speeches did not happen anymore. Luckily enough she survived and fled her country to the United Kingdom where she continued to fight for the women’s right to education. This paper scrutinizes on how the book applies to the personal life of an individual and the illusions that might be shattered especially from those in power.

The book reflects on the oppression that the girl child undergoes in her struggle to get educated. The book applies to individual societies where girls are figured as housewives and taking them to school was not a necessity in the majority of the communities. For instance, in the book “I am Malala,” Fazlullah being a man criticizes women from obtaining education claiming that it is ‘haram.' Consequently, in most of the communities, men have been at the forefront to slam the girl child from going to school. Moreover, the book reflects on certain ideologies that may affect individuals through our past and present. For instance, in the book, Ziauddin believes that lack of education was the root of all the problems in Pakistan with ignorance allowing politicians to fool people and bad administrator’s reelection. More so, he believes that schooling ought to be made for both the rich boys and girls (p. 41). The instance reflects on certain ideologies that individuals do not heed and come to affect them later in the future. For example, lack of educating the girl child can contribute to bad governance in the society through the oppression of the women rights since the girl child is not sensitized about her human-rights.

From the book, the present can mold individuals through becoming activist and fighting for their rights to impart changes in the society. For instance, Malala reflects on how the Taliban’s figured them like little dolls to control; however, she claims that if God wanted them to be like that he would have made them all different (p. 124). Henceforth, she fought for her female rights to education becoming a feminist. Consequently, the girl child can change the peoples thought about their rights by starting campaigns that fight for their rights to ensure equality in the society. Feminism changes how women feel and think about themselves. Additionally, it affects how men and women participate in their daily activities and how they interpret the world. To some feminists, the movement is about demanding for women's right or quest for women autonomy, while to others its emphasis on the common bonds uniting women. Feminism does not recognize women as subordinate to men and therefore tries to strike a balance of power between the sexes.

On the other hand, the future might mold the girl child by changing the men’s ideology that women do not need education. For instance, Malala tried to change the men’s thinking about girl’s education by criticizing Fazlullah utterance on women education being “haram.” Moreover, she says "let's pick our books and pens; they are our powerful weapon that can change the world." (p. 310). From the quote, it is evident that the girl child can mold the future through education and making an enduring lasting with women vying for the top political seats to ensure equality attribution in the society. Additionally, the girl child has begun to comprehend their ability to change the society using organizations of their own to carry out their thought. They are campaigning to seek fundamental changes through their liberation movements for their rights such as access to education, equal pay, property rights, and custody of infants among others which might determine their possible equality outcome.

The book shatters the misconception that the larger society has towards women especially regarding education. Most communities have an impression that educating the girl child is not a necessity since they ought to become housewives. However, the book reverses the ideology by advocating for the equality of the girl to boy child through access to education. For instance, Malala claims that it would be peaceful in the streets and at home for education being accessible for every girl and boy in the world (p. 313). To some extent, the ideology of the girl child accessing education outweighs the thoughts of men in the society who usually advocate that the girl child should not attend school.

Conclusively, the book has developed some ideologies bout the girl child fighting for her rights especially education. Majority of the women have continued to fight for their rights and changing the misconception about them in the larger society. Consequently, through the liberation to seek for fundamental changes, women are showing their hunger for education by attending schools, hence, changing the illusion about girl child in the society.

Works Cited

Yousafzai, Malala, and Christina Lamb. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson; Little, Brown and Company, 2013.

August 21, 2023




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