Dec. 7, 2012
– A national effort began Wednesday to have fifteen-year-
old Pakistani heroine Malala Yousafzai named TIME Magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year by a network of more than 600 U.S. women state legislators, the Women Legislators’
LL), and national nonprofit Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND). The effort began with delivery of a letter to TIME editors with an official endorsement from WAND and Wi
LL, and expanded to Facebook, Twitter and email.
The letter states, “Fifteen-year-
old Malala Yousafzai embodies this call for the full empowerment of women and girls as leaders and agents of change in this modern era. Despite suffering a vicious attack by Taliban gunman who boarded her school bus and shot her in the head, Malala has issued a global call to protect the human rights of women and girls everywhere. Malala’s blog “Diary of a Pakistani Girl,” is an ongoing and fearless appeal to protect girls’ right to education.” The letter draws attention to Malala’s blog and points out that she was awarded the first National Peace Award by the Pakistani government last year.
The letter and effort are a part of WAND’s new Women, Peace, and Security Program, designed to strengthen and promote the role of women and girls in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace-building. The program sprung from the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security issued by executive order of the President in 2011, which supports and endorses this expanded role of women in peace-making roles around the world.
“As women leaders, we share a strong belief that our full participation is invaluable to shape policies that make the world a safer place for future generations,”
LL President and Georgia State Sen. Nan Orrock in the endorsement letter. “We are committed to continuing this dialogue and standing side-by-side in affirming the vital role of women’s leadership, both here and abroad.”
TIME Magazine explains that the Person of the Year is someone who “most influenced the news this year for better or worse.” Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 12, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 14. More information on this campaign and how to cast your vote can be found at www.wandactioncenter.org