The courage, poise, and wisdom of Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the Taliban for advocating girls' education in Pakistan, has captured the hearts and minds of Westerners. While Western girls may take their education for granted, in the Muslim world, girls must cross cultural and religious barriers to attend school. Here are five snapshots of girls' education in the Muslim world. [Editor's note: The original headline and text incorrectly said "Arab world" instead of the Muslim world.]
While government data estimates that a quarter of Pakistani girls are literate, independent sources place female literacy at just 12 percent, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). After the Taliban shot Ms. Yousafzai for advocating girls’ education, her former school proudly hung a giant poster of her on the wall of the assembly hall. A year later, the poster has been removed. The school made no plans to recognize the anniversary of Malala's shooting by Taliban, teachers and students are afraid, AP reports.
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