Many articles have been springing up in regards to the attack last week and several have referenced DIL. We are so very grateful for the amount of support that has come in in response. Below is a statement on the overall issue of girls’ education in Pakistan and the situation as of recent by DIL’s CEO and founder, Fiza Shah.
“Economic deprivation and inaccessibility to education lie at the heart of rural Pakistan’s struggle. The country’s neglected and underfunded government school system has failed to provide Pakistani students with the education and skills necessary to compete in today’s world. For example, the literacy rate for women in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — home to Malala Yousefzai — is 38 percent.
International organizations must collaborate with local N.G.O.s to bring about a revolutionary change in the field of education.
Cultural barriers are another reason for low female literacy rates. Traditional rural communities are often fearful that the educated girl will become too liberal and challenge prevailing cultural norms. Often international N.G.O.s working in underdeveloped areas are unaware of the local mindset and sensibilities of the communities they serve. This provides religious extremists the pretext to respond viciously to perceived threats to their sovereignty.
To ensure the right of every girl to an education, we must support local community-based organizations that better understand the needs of their people. International organizations must collaborate with local N.G.O.s to bring about this change. My organization, for example, encourages parents and the wider community in Khyhber Pakhtunkhwa to get involved in our mission. Our will has been strengthened following the attack on Malala.”
By Fiza Shah in NYT’s Room for Debate – article here.
Other recent articles on DIL: