martes, 6 de noviembre de 2012

Clara and Malala´s world

Weeks ago, on the International Day of the Girl, the International Plan Organisation made alarming numbers public. Approximately 75 million girls around the world do not have access to education because of economical, religious and social reasons. Futhermore, according to the World Health Organization, at least 140 million women were victims of genital mutilation in the past decades, and it is estimated that 3 million girls will be sexually severed next year. A great number of them, for not having “the right to enjoy” sex, according to muslims.

Clara Ma is a 15-year-old Kansas student and attends high school. Three years ago the National Aeronautics and Space Administration had launched an essay contest addressed to all USA students in order to name the next Mars mission. Clara participated suggesting the name “Curiosity” for the rover that would explore the red planet. According to her, curiosity represents the flame that lies in every human being. She believes that everybody asks themselves about their own existence, nature, and everything that exists in the Universe.

Ma wrote that our ability to ask questions and have doubts, approach us to knowledge. Her suggestion was taken into account and Curiosity, which costed around USD 2.5 billion to NASA, is today in the red planet studying the martian geology and trying to find out whether Mars could one day host a human colony.

Unlike Clara, Malala Yousafzai who is also 15 years old, has to fight for education in a country contaminated by male chauvinism and religious intolerance. This teenager is a militant for women´s rights and consequently for individuals ones at such a young age, in Pakistan. For a couple of years she´s been writing a blog to inform against Taliban aggression in the valley of the Swat river in northern Pakistan. Because of her opposition to the religious totalitarism, despite being muslim but westernized, radicals threatened her to death, since as a woman she has “no right to study” and should stay at home to take care of men, as ordered by Allah.

Unfortunately, fundamentalists achieved their goal and a couple of days ago they shot Malala after getting her off the scholar bus where she was traveling along with her classmates. The bullet impacted near the young blogger´s spine, but physicians could take the bullet out of her body. Today, Malala is slowly recovering in a hospital in England.
It was Malala´s father who three years ago, despite taliban´s threats, opened a school for girls. During the first months students didn´t wear a uniform and had to hide their books and notebooks in order to go unseen by religious radicals.
The problem of male chauvinism is still present in monotheisms, in some of them stronger than in others, and this is evident both in Muslim countries and in the West, who are mostly Christians. Women, in many cases, are still relegated or denied certain rights such as equal pay, sexual education and abortion.

We live in a contradictory world. In the one hand we have huge techno-scientific advances which help us not only to improve our knowledge of the Cosmos, but also to broaden our daily wellbeing with new inventions and greater confort; while in the other hand religion reminds us that many haven´t left the caverns yet and intend to live in the Middle Ages when the woman was subdued by divine command.

Clara as well as Malala are evident examples of changes experimented in the last years. Our world could go on and keep itself by the side of scientific advances or get stuck with arbitrariness and agressions made by soldiers of ignorance who show hatred for matter and wait for extraterrestrial rewards. Clara and Malala are girls who have the absolute right to explore the world with their own eyes and nobody can keep them away from the privilege of thinking by themselves. To censure them is characteristic of religious people, not of the civilized world.

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