The recent shooting of 14-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has gained international attention and brought a flood of criticism from people in Pakistan and around the world. Taliban militants shot Malala twice in the head and neck on her way home from school. Two other girls were also injured in the attack. Malala is expected to survive her injuries, but remains in intensive care in Pakistan.
The Taliban targeted Malala for her work promoting girls' education in the Swat Valley, where religious extremists discourage girls from going to school, sometimes with harsh consequences. She gained national and international attention after writing a blog that spoke out against Taliban atrocities.
The Taliban called the teenager's work an obscenity and pledged to make a new attempt to kill her, if she survives.
The shooting has prompted demonstrations in Pakistan to express the people's solidarity with Malala.
"We want to...send a signal to [the] Taliban that, no matter what happens, we will not let this country go down like that," said one demonstrator.
The attack coincides also with the first ever International Day of the Girl, an event meant to bring attention to gender inequality, and bring attention to girls' issues around the globe.
While speaking for the event, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Yesterday's attack reminds us of the challenges that girls face, whether it is poverty or marginalization or even violence just for speaking out for their basic rights."
"They don't want a woman, a girl like Malala who knows what her rights are, who knows, you know, how to demand that, and who knows that she wants to live with dignity and with respect.
"And I think today we are all gathered here to show our solidarity with Malala. We want to tell -- send a signal to also Taliban that, no matter what happens, we will not let this country to go down like that," - Farzana Bar, Pakistan.
1. Where is Pakistan? What countries does it border?
2. What is the Taliban?
3. Have you ever spoken out against something you thought was unfair? What was your experience?
1. What would you do if you were in Malala's place? Would you continue to speak out?
2. Do women and girls face challenges to equality in the U.S.? Explain.
3. Do you think that this incident will spur any change in this region of the world? Why or why not?