Malala Yousafzai is 14-years-old. She lives in Pakistan and is known throughout her home country for the work she's done campaigning for girls' education. Yesterday she was shot in the neck by the Pakistani Taliban.
She first came to the world's attention after writing a diary for the BBC in 2009, and then appearing regularly to talk about how Taliban militants had taken control of the Swat Valley, where she lives.
Malala Yousafzai was attacked on her way home from school in Mingora, the region's main town. The shooting has left many shocked and concerned for the safety of those who to fight for women's rights.
Dr. Farzana Bari is the director of the Center of Women's Studies at Islamanad's Quaid-i-Azam University. She says that this kind of action is mind-boggling — and yet, very much in keeping with the Taliban's anti-women agenda.
"They feel that if people get educated, and if women get educated, then they will start to question the gender status quo within the family, and they will become Westernized," says Dr. Bari.
"If I lost my life, in speaking up for the rights of girls," Malala Yousafzi said in an interview with the BBC, "it is not a big deal for me." But this shooting is a big deal to Pakistan, where Dr. Bari says there is a collective sense of heartbreak.
"I think the entire nation is in grief at the moment," Dr. Bari says. "She spoke out at a time when there was complete silence in that area because of the terror the Taliban was able to manage in those days. And even at that time, this girl had no fear, and she spoke up for her right to education."
"There are many more Malalas in this country," Dr. Bari says. "People are not going to bow down, and they are not going to accept the violation of our fundamental right."