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If you haven’t heard of Malala yet, please listen up because she’s a fourteen year old hero. She is a Pakistani young woman who was intentionally shot and critically wounded last week by the Taliban as she headed home from school in the north-west Swat Valley. She was airlifted to Britain for medical treatment where they removed a bullet from her skull and where she is still recovering.

Malala wrote a blog about girls education being banned by the Taliban and sticking up for the rights of girls and women to have education. The Taliban has threatened to target her again until she is killed. They are doing everything they can to make her look like she was a bad seed and against Pakistan and the Muslim faith. Women in Pakistan and worldwide stand behind Malala, but they are being shut down. Malala and those who support her stand for truth and the rights of women.

Does female education matter? Yes!

When women are educated they are more able to ask questions and to make decisions about their health and fertility. They are more likely to stand up against violence being perpetrated against them and more able to assert their legal rights.

Where so many young women and men take education for granted, they drop out of school or don’t want to go or don’t take it seriously, it’s hard to imagine a world where the right is taken away. But it’s real.

This is about girls and women being able to live full lives.

Malala stands up for a world of people who are scared by the big bullies who believe women should not have rights. Malala will be safer and stronger, we all will, when anyone who wants women and girls to be second class citizens is stopped.

The situation is extreme in Pakistan but it is going in a similar direction in the rest of the world as well. Women must have equal rights to men, over their bodies, healthcare, equal pay, right to education, and right to their lives.

Stand with Malala. The more who are for her, the sooner women will be given equal rights to education, opportunities, and life.