“Fears over the safety of women voting in next week’s elections in Pakistan are rising after letters have been circulated in regions of the country warning men not to allow their wives, sisters and daughters out to the polling stations,” The London Observer reports:
Now a group of young female activists are planning to challenge what they call the government’s inability to protect women’s right to vote by organising their own protection teams at individual polling stations in tense and volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of the four provinces of Pakistan, formerly known as the North West Frontier Province.
Saba Ismail (above), 23-year-old founder and director of Aware Girls, a peace group for and led by young women to train girls in leadership skills, said they already planned to monitor 30 polling stations with volunteers who would support women who came out to vote and hoped to reach many more.
“Malala is not the only one who has been so brave, but she is a hero to all of us now,” Ismail said. “Such a strong young woman and a true role model, I was very impressed by her. Many women and girls will feel empowered by Malala to come out and vote.”