Here’s an issue that should be important to everyone who loves books: the right to read them and write them. Hard to believe it’s not a universal right, but it isn’t. In particular, women and girls are routinely denied the right to basic education in some countries.
This issue was really brought to the fore when the Taliban shot 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai for advocating for girls’ education in Pakistan. Miraculously, she survived and is continuing to advocate for the right to learn.
Ever since I heard this story, I’ve wanted to do something to support this girl with a book and anyone who is threatened just for wanting to read. I’ve started posting on Twitter and Facebook about these issues and organizations that are working to change things. I hope more will do the same.
They need our support. Yes, they need donations, but your political and moral support is very important too. Learn what’s happening. Speak about these issues to your friends. Write politicians. Email, tweet, post about it. Let them know that people care—a lot of people.
Want to get more involved? Here are some great places to find out more:
The Malala Fund: Support the education of girls in Pakistan and around the world
Afghan Women’s Writing Project: To tell one’s story is a human right
The Half the Sky movement: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide