Celebrating Malala – and Women as Leaders for Peace
Malala became a hero to the world when she stood up to extremists in Pakistan and claimed her right to education. She mobilized others around her country and all across South Asia to counter the forces of radicalization. We celebrate her Nobel Peace Prize as a symbol recognizing a young woman’s courage to stand up for stability and prosperity in her country.
Importantly, she is not alone. Despite common misperceptions of Pakistani women as weak and oppressed victims, there are many more women like Malala, young and old, on the frontlines of this struggle. She commonly notes myriad ways in which Pakistani women are a major resource to stabilize her country.
The Nobel Committee made an important point today – it shed light on the reality that women work tirelessly to prevent violence, offer assistance in the midst of conflict, and rebuild their communities after terrorist attacks. Because women are the frequent targets of extremists, they are keenly aware of the dangers that intolerance and radicalization pose to their communities. As leaders in civil society and in their homes, Pakistani women are well-positioned to temper radical beliefs and bridge the social divides that fuel violence. They are also often the first to propose creative, nonviolent solutions to prevent and resolve conflict – and to act and rebuild in the face of disaster.
The Institute for Inclusive Security has worked for years with women from South Asia who are leaders in mobilizing their societies for peace and security. We honor Malala – and the many other leaders like her who are daring to challenge extremism and work for peace and opportunity — for women and men, for boys and girls.
Here are links chronicling some of this important work:
- Recommendations for Reducing Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Pakistan
- Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Why Policewomen Must Have a Role
- Pakistani Women Moderating Extremism – A Coalition-Building Case Study
- Women Moderating Extremism in Pakistan
- Women’s Roles in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Pakistan
- Peace Activist Mossarat Qadeem Enlists Mothers to Fight Terrorism
- Amid Unrest, Afghan Women Mobilize for Role in Peacebuilding
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