"I don't mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is
education. And I am afraid of no one."
The recent shooting of young Malala Yousufzai has garnered
attention worldwide. There is an unmistakable irony in the fact that it occurred
on the heels of the International Day of the Girl – a day dedicated to growing
consciousness that creating healthy communities begins with ensuring that girls
are safe, educated and thus empowered.
By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world's adult
population who cannot read. This staggering percentage of illiteracy translates
into a continued climate of violence for women in their homes, their communities
and their countries as they remain repressed and oppressed.
By standing up for human rights and specifically the right of
every girl to an education, Malala has received acclaim around the world for her
bravery. Education is key to ending the kind of violence that women and girls
experience. Education is a right and not a privilege.
The OPSEU Provincial Women's Committee is inspired by the voice
and actions of Malala Yousufzai: A powerful example for all of us. Violence is
unacceptable. Gender-based violence is intolerable.
Dora Robinson, Chair, Provincial Women's Committee