Washington: Condemning the attack on Pakistani teenager Malala Yousufzai, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said here that it was a reminder of the "challenges that girls face" just for speaking out.
Clinton said Wednesday that Malala has been active in speaking out for the right of girls to get an education.
"She's even blogged about it, and she has been very brave in standing up for the rights of girls in the area where she comes from in Pakistan," she said in remarks to a group of visiting girl scouts in honour of the first-ever international day of the girl.
She added that the attack on Malala "reminds us of the challenges that girls face, whether it's poverty or marginalization or even violence, just for speaking out for their basic rights".
Recounting the Taliban attack on 14-year-old Malala, Clinton said that "she was attacked and shot by extremists who don't want girls to have an education and don't want girls to speak for themselves and don't want girls to become leaders, who are, for a variety of reasons, threatened by that kind of empowerment".
"And so they shot Malala, and she's in critical condition."
Malala was shot and seriously injured in the country's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Tuesday when she was returning from home from school. Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack that has sparked outrage across the world.
Doctors Wednesday removed a bullet that pierced her head and got lodged in her shoulder.
Clinton said that "we should be dedicating our efforts to brave young women, some of whose names we will know and some we will never know, who struggle against tradition and culture and even outright hostility and sometimes violence to pursue their hopes, their God-given potential to have a life of meaning and purpose and make contributions to their families, their communities, their countries, and the world".