Malala Yousafzai, the sixteen-year-old champion for girls’ education and recent Nobel Peace Prize nominee, published her memoir last week, much to the adoration of the Western media.*
Last October, Malala was the victim of an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Swat Valley, Pakistan. Targeted originally for her blog posts on the militants’ crippling impact on schools, Malala–who has advocated publicly for education since 2009–is celebrated as a symbol “for the universal possibility of a little girl.”
You’ve also likely seen this widely-circulated clip of Malala flooring Jon Stewart with her earnest, empowering mission.
Among her recommendations is the prioritization of dialogue with combatants: “The best way to solve problems and to fight against war is through dialogue,” said Malala to the BBC. “[The Taliban] must do what they want through dialogue,” — reconciliation via peaceful conversation is “the job of the government…and that’s also the job of America.”
TCF is pleased to share intellectual DNA with Malala, whose policy recommendations are comprehensive, impressive and clear. Our foreign policy team also advises that international negotiations should begin with conversations on the ground. Senior fellow Michael Hanna has written extensively on the need for productive political dialogues, and in 2011 a TCF task force published a similar report, “Afghanistan: Negotiating Peace.”
To learn more about Malala’s life and influence on the developing world, visit the Malala Fund’s website.
Ed. note: TCF’s Blog of the Century is updated regularly with posts from our experts and the foreign policy section gathers relevant posts in a dedicated space related to the issues Malala raises. We are in awe to follow her as she grows up and evolves her mission.
*Update: Malala’s memoir was published October 8. 2013.
Photo credits: Time,Asim Hafeez, World Bank Photo Collection