On October 8, 2012, 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafsai was shot with two other children as she was leaving school by bus. Why? Because she has been a tireless advocate for the right of all girls to receive an education.
Our hearts are with Malala and her family, and our foremost concern is for her full recovery. What she needs now is our support. We call on all Americans to stand with Malala and believe in ZERO girls denied an education.
We will share your signatures with UN Special Envoy Gordon Brown, who will meet with Pakistan's President Zadari and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon next month.
Let's show Malala that we are behind her. We believe in ZERO girls denied an education. And we stand with Malala.
Dear President Zadari and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon,
I write you to say that I stand with Malala Yousafsai in her courageous fight to bring education to all young women. I believe ZERO girls should be denied an education.
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In Pakistan, only 48 percent of girls are enrolled in primary school, compared to 58 percent of boys. In areas like the Swat Valley, where Malala lives, the percentage of girls in school is even lower. In some areas of Pakistan, only one out of every five children in schools is a girl.
But Malala's message extends far beyond the borders of Pakistan. She speaks for millions of girls worldwide who are desperate to receive an education. Globally, an estimated 67 million primary school-age children are not in school. Girls make up 55 percent of these children.
The effect of schooling on girls is nothing short of life-changing. Educated girls are more productive at home and better paid in the workplace, and more able to participate in social, economic and political decision-making.
Real solutions exist to help girls receive an education. Organizations like UNICEF can help governments and communities improve access for children who are hardest to reach or suffer most from discrimination.
In Pakistan, UNICEF is supporting the nationwide 'Every Child in School' campaign, which encourages parents and communities to ensure that all primary school aged children are enrolled for the new school year. A special focus is being placed on enrolling girls. And around the world, UNICEF implements programs to eliminate cultural, social and economic barriers to girls' education.
I want to see Malala recover -- and I want to see her dream achieved. I want to see ZERO girls denied an education.
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, I stand with Malala. Do you?
Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response.
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