Malala is an icon for the struggle which seems so foreign to girls like me, comfortable in our "normal" while girls our age must fight and sacrifice and face seemingly insurmountable odds to change theirs.
The story of Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban earlier this month for advocating female education, was a shocking reminder of how much still needs to be done to equalize opportunities for men and women.
It is particularly tragic to consider that the attack on Malala was an attack on education and intellectual freedom. It is hardly a Western innovation, but an important and enduring legacy of Islam with its tradition of scholarship.
We can stand aghast at the savagery of shooting Malala. Or we can avenge this act in the way that civilized people should --- moving forcefully and urgently to bring the powerful weapon of education to girls.