• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Pakistani girl shot by Taliban improving

October 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban is showing major signs of improvement.

British doctors treating Malala Yousufazai say she's able to stand with help and can write. However, they do say there are still signs of infection.

The medical director at the hospital says she's well enough to tell doctors that she wants them to share more clinical details about her condition.

The girl was returning home from school Oct. 9 when Taliban fighters shot her in the head for promoting female education and criticizing the group. The attack showed that the barriers to girls' education are highest in Pakistan's northwest, where the Taliban are strongest. The militants have blown up hundreds of schools and kidnapped and shot education activists like Malala.

The need for education is stark. According to the United Nations, only 40 percent of Pakistani girls 15 or younger are literate. Also, roughly 50 percent of girls are enrolled in school, according to a report by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child.

The Taliban and their allies are opposed to education that isn't rooted in their hardline interpretation of Islam and object to women working outside the home or traveling without a male escort.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments