The tragic assassination attempt in Pakistan against 14-year-old student Malala Yousafzai, merely because she was a female who spoke out for women's education, is a disturbing reminder that there are still places in our world where an educated woman is considered a threat. More disturbing still is that it occurred in a nation which 24 years ago elected Benazir Bhutto as the first female prime minister of a Muslim country. It is a potent reminder that progress for women does not always proceed linearly.
As the president of women-focused university and as provincial leader of its sponsoring organization, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who have been dedicated to educating women globally for over 175 years, we see this tragedy as affirmation of our mission to educate women leaders. Our university was founded on the radical notion that educating women can transform the world. The threat that Malala represents to some proves that our work is far from finished.