This year a 17 year old woman, Malala Yousafzai, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Actually she had to share it with someone else, but that’s besides the point. She got it for her fight to get women in Pakistan education.
But around that same time, there was an article on NPR called “The Crime That Has Shocked Pakistan“. The story was about a philanthropist in Karachi, Abdul Sattar Edhi, being robbed. He created a private ambulance service, and some of the residents in Karachi trust his foundation with their money instead of the banks.
But the thing that stuck me, was his being robbed was a large enough story in Pakistan, that NPR covered it. From the sound of the article he sounded like he was bigger news than Malala Yousafzai winning half the peace prize. But the NPR article did touch on her briefly. “Pakistanis tend to portray the teenager as a puppet of the West“. (emphasis mine).
That kind of shocked, as at the time, even on NPR made it a big deal. Then I remembered from my time as an Anthropology student. It is all culturally relevant. To us, it’s a big deal, because she’s bringing our (the west’s) form of equality. To her media, she’s pushing the West’s agenda for the future, while he brings them medical services now.