Pakistan Teachers Need More Protection Following Fatal Shooting
The drive-by shooting of a female teacher in Pakistan today by unnamed militants has been condemned by child rights organisation Plan International.
The 41-year-old woman was reportedly fatally injured in Shahkas, near the town of Jamrud in the Khyber tribal district, between the north-western city of Peshawar and the Afghan border. She was on route to work at a girls’ primary school in Shahkas when gunmen on a motorbike opened fired at her just yards from the school and fled, authorities said.
The attack follows the shooting of schoolgirl campaigner Malala Yousafzai in October last year who was singled out by the Taliban as she campaigned for girls to be educated in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
No-one has yet accepted responsibility for today’s attack but Plan International’s Director in Pakistan, Rashid Javed, said he suspected it was part of a continuing targeted campaign which has seen numerous schools bombed in the region in recent years.
“The attack upon Malala was widely condemned both internationally and within Pakistan. It looks unfortunately like what we had feared, in that the focus has been switched to now targeting female teachers.
“Malala’s story can be seen as a happy ending to an extent as she is recovering and is back in education, albeit outside Pakistan. But the bigger story of the violence that girls continue to face in receiving an education is still far from reaching a happy conclusion.
Stand up for girls
“We cannot allow girls here or elsewhere in the world to be denied their fundamental right to education. We must continue to stand up and support their brave fight.
“While Malala’s case and resulting petition gained worldwide attention, action is needed. Steps need to be taken to ensure the safety and security of all those attending school –staff and pupils alike. The government needs to be accountable and give this issue serious attention – political and financial.”
Plan had launched its Because I am a Girl global campaign on girls’ education on the inaugural International Day of the Girl last October, just two days after the shooting.
-Plan has been working in Pakistan since 1997 and has been involved with the education sector since then.
-Founded over 75 years ago, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest child-centred community development organisations, operating in 68 countries worldwide. In 2011, Plan worked with 58,000 communities and reached over 56 million children.
-Because I am a Girl is Plan’s campaign to fight gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty.
Since 2007 Plan has been producing a global report on the State of World’s Girls with a different theme each year.
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