By Gayle Lemmon, author

Editor’s Note: Gayle Lemmon, author of the New York Times best-seller The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. The views expressed are solely those of the author.

The attempted assassination in Pakistan of fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai by Taliban shooters is only the latest and most brazen attack on leaders brave enough to defy death threats and fight for a girl’s right to go to school.

Earlier this week gunmen boarded Malala’s school van, asked for her by name and shot her. The teenager now fights for her life in a hospital and receives visits from dignitaries who until her attempted assassination had not dared to challenge publicly the kind of extremism that views educated girls as an existential threat.

But there are many Malalas whose stories rarely are heard. Just as this courageous girl refused to silently abandon her…

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