Education opens minds. It gives girls and boys the freedom to choose -- to choose between ignorance and knowledge, to choose lives they wish to live. This is true in Afghanistan and across the world. But everywhere, this human right is being violated.
If foreigners are seen participating in this much-needed charitable work, terrorists don't just act out on them. They bomb the school and carry off more explosions inside the country to send their message: We don't want you. The rest of Pakistan, well, they are seen as helpless.
After all of the pledges of money and all of the kind words, six months post-Malala, Pakistan is no closer to gender equality in the schools because Pakistan doesn't have an education problem. It has a security problem.
At 21, she is on the path to earn a bachelor's degree in education. This degree is Pakistan's new gold standard for becoming a teacher, and the U.S. is helping schools establish the new degrees, recently mandated by the government.