After Malala Yousafzai, another Pakistani schoolgirl has been allowed to come to Britain to study following threats from extremist groups opposed to women’s education.
Shazia Ramzan, who was injured in the Taliban attack on Ms. Yousafzai and spent a month in hospital, said that things were extremely difficult for girls back home as parents were afraid to allow them to go to school.
“Girls are scared — parents say what happened to Malala can happen to them too, so don’t study and don’t go to school,” she told the BBC as she was reunited with Ms. Yousafzai, who she called a “role model” for all young girls.
Ms. Ramzan (15) said she decided to come to Britain as she found it hard to continue her studies in Pakistan because of a climate of fear and intimidation.
“My life completely changed after the attack. Before that we [girls] could go anywhere we liked, but now we must be accompanied by guards who tell us not to go out,” she said.
Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister and currently U.N.’s special envoy for global education, helped Ms. Ramzan get a special student visa. He said he was impressed by her courage and determination.
“Now safely in the U.K., Shazia is also planning to put the case for girls’ education as she starts a new life in college, with hopes to be a doctor. Her aim is to ensure that schools are built for all out-of-school girls — not only in Pakistan but around the world,” he said.
Despite an increase in violence in Pakistan, girls were “more resolute than ever in standing up for their rights”, he said.
A global campaign for girls’ education will be launched on July 12 — named “Malala Day” to mark Malala’s 16th birthday.
Mr. Brown said it would offer “a chance for the world’s young people to call on world leaders once and for all to put education first”.