Today's Quotes

"Champions have the courage to keep turning the pages because they know a better chapter lies ahead."

~Paula White

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Malala Yousafzai: Her fight for Education

On October 12th Malala was shot by Taliban terrorist for speaking up for girls right to an education. Ever since I heard of her plight I admired her strength and convictions.  Her goal for a right to an education gave me hope. However it also filled me with sadness. There are people dying for the right to education, yet many in our Western society have taken education for granted and do not take advantage of what it can offer.

I am a strong believer in education's power to give people freedom and choices.  It changed my life and has given me access to things that wouldn't have been within my reach.

Her speech to the United Nations is both moving and inspiring.  It is a miracle that she survived the attack and I am thankful that it has given her the strength to continue her campaign for compulsory education for every child. 

It is a thought provoking speech that moves you to analyze all the power of one person and the power of education.  Here is a direct quote from her speech:

"They thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed...out of that silence came thousands of voices.  The terrorists thought that they would change my aim and curve my ambitions.  But nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born."
Watching her speech I can't believe that she is only 16.  The peace and strength in her voice reminded me of Gandhi and Mandela.  May God protect her and may her dream come true.

Malala Yousafzai Full Speech on BBC

Timeline of Malala's Journey

Malala's Blog on BBC

Malala's Fund at Vital Voices

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Women's Life Choices

Knowing what to do with your life is not easy. But once you make a choice. You need to know what your choice means. Don't let societal roles or the media make them for you. Your choice can change, it can even mature with you. Some feminist choices might not resonate with you right now and then one day they totally make sense. Some traditional choices for women might not either now and then one day you find yourself feeling and saying things you would have never said.

After I had my daughter , I completely understood women wanting to stay at home with their children. I floored one of my friends when I said that I envied women who could be stay at home moms and were so happy doing it.  But it is true, to be present for your children physically and emotionally is very important, yes I envy that. Could I do it, nope. That is not my personality and I have to be true to myself.

I think in the beginning feminism gave women a choice not pigeon holed them into a different gender role the one where a woman can't wear make up or love being at home. Feminism gave us the power to make our choices. Let's make it a conscious one and allow others to make their own.  Let's not judge each other for giving up the career ladder and choosing to stay at home with your kids.  There are so many creative and talented women who are staying at home and enjoying their children.  There are so many successful women who are climbing up the career ladder and are wonderful mothers. Then there are the women who choose a career and choose not to have children.  All the choices are fine.  Let's make the best choice for us.

When we are judging women for their choices we are no different than the people who thought women's only choice was to stay at home.  Let's support each other's choices.  Less judging and more supporting would help women go a long way.