Twelve years ago this week, the Taliban regime retreated from Kabul. Children were finally free to fly kites, women emerged from behind their burqas and girls could again dream of going to school. Women and girls have made hard-won advancements. Afghan women have seats in parliament, run businesses and even serve as police officers and park rangers. In its treatment of women, the Taliban was one of the most brutal regimes the world has ever known. That legacy lingers in even the most basic aspects of life.
On Tuesday afternoon, Malala Yousafzai was a 14-year-old girl riding home on a school bus. Now, after a masked gunman apparently boarded her bus, asked for her by name and shot her in the head and neck, she is fighting for her life. Malala was targeted by the Pakistani Taliban because for the past three years she has spoken out for the rights of all girls to become educated. After this despicable shooting, a Taliban spokesman said that his organization considers Malala’s crusade for education rights an “obscenity” and accused her of “propagating” Western culture. If she survives, the group promises to try again to kill her.
This article originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal. As Congress honors Burma’s opposition leader, the people she inspired world-wide are working and sacrificing for democracy. by LAURA W. BUSH On Wednesday, Burmese opposition leader Aung…