The definition for Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve EQUAL political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. While people all over the world is afraid of calling themselves a feminist or consider it to be a passing phase of a movement in the pages of history, Malala Yousufzai, a teenager could dare to take steps for equality that no one could possibly imagine.
The Taliban establishing jihad all over Afghanistan had sucked away all the colours and joys of the country. There was no peace; the rich culture had drained away, all replaced by terror. Khalid Hosseini in his books, The Kite Runner and The Thousand Splendid Suns has painted the picture of existence of people who are deprived of living. Malala was always keen to know more and her favourite part of the day was spending time in school. She was a revolution within herself. The Taliban had forbidden wearing bright colours; in spite of this she wore bright pink colour and fearlessly voiced for the equality rights for women being very well aware of the consequences it might lead to. She started writing a blog for the BBC at the age of 11 under the pseudonym of Gul Makai, titled – The diary of a Pakistani girl. Soon her real identity was traced down and one of her usual days while she was returning from her school, a gunman boarded their bus and asked, “Which one of you here is Malala?” Angelina Jolie says, “They shot her at point blank range and made her stronger.” Malala Yousufzai survived the attack of Taliban who wanted to silence her gave her instead a bolder, stronger and a louder voice that did not constrain anymore in the Swat valley but reached to all parts of the world turning into a revolutionary movement. She was awarded Nobel Prize for Peace in the year 2014 at the age of 17.
Malala considers herself an ordinary girl with extra ordinary parents especially her father who has been the most influential figure in her life. His naming her as Malala was a successful one almost establishing his belief of his daughter being a different soul amongst the thousand repressed and tortured people in his country. ‘He Named Her Malala’, a film by Davis Guggenheim shows the mythological reference to her name which is shared below.
The Taliban has been an unbelievable terror in the past few years. The story of Sushmita Banerjee would add up as another example. Sushmita Banerjee was a writer and activist from India. Her works include the memoir Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou (A Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife; 1997) based on her experience of marrying an Afghan and her time in Afghanistan during Taliban rule. The story was used as the basis for the Bollywood film Escape from Taliban. At the age of 49, she was killed by suspected Taliban militants brutally during the evening of 4 September or in the early morning hours of 5 September 2013, outside her home in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. The Taliban have held back basic human rights in the name of religion. Fear has suppressed the people and has forced them to be a part of this life style.
Malala Yousafzai wishes to bring in equality in women’s right, especially in education. She is determined to establish compulsory education both at primary and secondary level for girls as she believes that there is so much of potential that is not recognized and acknowledged. The distinction made on the basis of gender is absolutely absurd and in this century where we claim to be advanced existence of such issues are meaningless. Feminist is a word kept aside for ONLY women as if they are trying to substitute for the years of patriarchy, which is so not true. It has lost its true meaning with continuous misuse of this word. Feminism talks about equality of women that they have been deprived of. This cannot be an all woman movement because it aims for development of the entire humanity.
Embrace yourself and feel proud to say that you are a feminist. I am a feminist. Let’s not only make Malala a story but a “movement” as she believes it to be.