He Panui


Books, not bullets, will change the world says Malala

Nga mihi atawhai – greetings to all in Mercy! Pakistani-born and the youngest ever to receive the Nobel peace prize, Malala Yousafzai achieved another goal a few weeks ago – six A+s and four As in her GCSE exams at the secondary school she has been attending in Birmingham since recovering from gunshot wounds to the head in her homeland.

Malala, now 18, became an advocate for girls’ education as a child, which resulted in the Taliban issuing a death threat against her. A gunman shot her as she travelled home from school in October 2012. She survived and underwent surgery in Pakistan and later in the UK where she has continued to live.

She plans to remain in Britain to complete her education, which she sees as the only way to achieve real change. Books, not bullets, is her plea. “My dream is to empower myself with education, and then it is a weapon.”

On that point, she concurs with Catherine McAuley, who saw the education of women and girls as the most potent force for social change. “No work of charity can be more productive of good society, or more conducive to the happiness of the poor,” she wrote in her Rule, “than the careful instruction of women.”