CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

Community News Network

October 10, 2013

Should Malala's dad be the one getting the Nobel Peace Prize?

One year ago today, a young bearded Talib in Pakistan's Swat Valley boarded a school bus crammed with 20 girls and fired three shots heard 'round the world. In the 365 days since, Malala Yousafzai, the outspoken peace and education activist, has gone from lying in a hospital bed to addressing the United Nations on July 12, her 16th birthday, to now being the leading contender for the Nobel Peace Prize, whose winner will be announced on Friday.

But as much as the world loves Malala, could world peace actually be better advanced by awarding the prize to her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai? The founder of the girls' school Malala attended, he is an anomaly in his area of Pakistan - a progressive man who understands the value of educating girls. Without her dad, there would be no Malala, the confident, literate, English-speaking activist. Instead, she would most likely be lost among the four out of five girls in her region who don't go to school.

As Adam Ellick, a filmmaker who created a documentary featuring Malala before she became a household name, told Time, "[This] is a story about a father and a daughter, more than a story about a girl." Describing Ziauddin's education activism, Ellick said, "Her father has a sort of revolutionary commitment to his cause. He is an incredibly unique and complex person."

But for the status of women to improve, men with Ziauddin's mindset can't be unique; they must be commonplace. The cold, hard reality is that in areas of the world where men tyrannically hold all power, the situation of women and girls will only advance if men voluntarily relax their vise-like grip over women. This is what Foreign Policy contributor Christian Bayer Tygesen refers to as the "realist perspective on human rights." What he wrote about Afghanistan can just as well be applied to Malala's Swat Valley: "All Afghan girls should get an education, but unless the men ease their repressive dominance, half of the population will never have the opportunity to exercise their human rights."

We can create rap videos honoring Malala and bestow her with the world's top prizes, but at the end of the day, it's often men who execute the kind of change Malala is advocating. Less than a century ago, American women got the right to vote because a critical mass of men experienced "indigenous preference shifts," to use Tygesen's term. And that was in a country where suffragettes could at least freely organize and take to the streets en masse.

Malala's father himself acknowledges the crucial role that progressive men play in accelerating social change in male-dominated societies. In remarks this March in London, in which he made an analogy to whites' support for Martin Luther King's activism, he said, "In a male-dominated society, change will come and change could be initiated by men. . . . The journey which girls can travel in 100 years, if they are accompanied by their male partners - brothers, fathers - it could be just a few years, five years, six years."

Ziauddin Yousafzai has faced death threats. He has had to sleep away from home in order to stay alive and protect his family. Awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize would send the message that men in male-dominated societies who swim against the current to advance education and the status of females will be supported and cheered. His passionate efforts should make him as much of a Nobel Peace Prize candidate as Malala is.



 

1
Text Only
Community News Network

New England News
Obituaries
  • Alan J. Walker, 68

    Kingston, N.H. — Mr. Alan James Walker, 68, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2014, after a long, brave battle with cancer.

    Continued ...
    20 days
  • James Reese

    Raymond, NH — James Edwin Reese, 74, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Raymond, N.H. He was the son of John and Ruth Reese, born on Oct. 29, 1939 in Edensburg, Pa. James graduated from Central Cambria High School in Pennsylvania before proudly serving in the U.S. Army as a food inspector. His military service was followed by 31 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. Mr. Reese was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his time fishing, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He became involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of the wilderness to others. Throughout his retirement years he enjoyed woodworking, raising rabbits and working in his garden.

    Continued ...
    20 days 1 Photo
  • Velma J. Reid

    South Hampton, NH — Velma J. Reid, 80, died peacefully on July 17, 2014 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family. She was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 8, 1934, the daughter of the late George C.W. and Alta I. (Kimball) Haynes. A graduate of Haverhill High School, Velma worked at Western Electric until she had children. For years, she was a devoted “stay-at-home” mom who raised her three children in a loving, nurturing environment. She later worked various manufacturing jobs until her retirement. After retiring, she volunteered her time at various organizations and was very involved at the East Kingston Community United Methodist Church as a member of the women’s guild, assisting with the holiday fair, and helping out wherever she could. She had a passion for animals, and would donate money, food, and blankets to the NH SPCA. She loved to sew and made a personalized quilt for every member of her family. She was also a member of the “Ugly Quilts” group, which made blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless using recycled fabric. She is survived by her husband, Clyde Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; daughter, Pam Eaton of Danville, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kim Reid of Raymond, N.H.; daughter, Shirley Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; two sisters, Gwen Stuart of Haverhill, and Norma Taplin of Dracut; four grandchildren, Cheryl and Marc Welch, and Kristen and Joshua Reid, and several nieces and nephews.

    Continued ...
    20 days 1 Photo
  • Carleen A. Knowlton, 80

    Danville, NH — Carleen A. (Rhoadhouse) Knowlton, 80, of Danville and formerly of Hampstead, died on July 7, 2014, at her home.

    Continued ...
    27 days 1 Photo
  • Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84

    Kingston, NH — Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84, a resident of Kingston since 2001, and former longtime resident of Grafton, Mass., died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2014, following a long illness.

    Continued ...
    27 days 1 Photo

Stocks