There's been lots of news - and yet not enough - of the shooting of Pakistani girl activist Malala Yousafzai. The Huffington Post has a good article to start you off if you're coming late to the story.
Standing up for the right to be educated should not prompt someone to pull a gun. I'm sure it would surprise some folks that anyone would even care enough about schooling to be violent. That's because it was not about education.
Malala was shot because she is a girl. Further, she's a girl asking for rights for girls. Her voice could have been raised on working conditions, on wages, on rape... and the fact that it was a female voice created enough outrage in some people's hearts that she was shot in the head.
"In this day and age?" someone said in the elevator. Yes. Keep in mind that it also doesn't matter that it happened in another country. December 6, 1989 in Montreal, Marc Lépine shot nine women at the École Polytechnique, claiming that he was fighting feminism. That's only one example. I'm sure many of you can think of less extreme situations that you may have witnessed in bars, workplaces and public spaces even in the past week.
We are each involved in our small crusades to open door to those less fortunate and those who are shut out from basic rights (and some basic courtesies) simply due to gender.
Moving away from victim to survivor... promoting International Women's Day... keeping the conversations going so folks can become educated or join the discussion... mentoring women... cheering others in their efforts... speaking up, out or at all... every voice matters; every effort helps.
Malala, the people around the world are sending you their best wishes. I promise to honour you - and all those who seek to make the world safer for girls and women - by continuing to keep my voice raised.
Please, no more shootings of women because they're women.