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'Shot Pakistani girl': The limitations of girls education discourses in UK newspaper coverage of Malala Yousafzai

Walters, Rosie ORCID: 2016. 'Shot Pakistani girl': The limitations of girls education discourses in UK newspaper coverage of Malala Yousafzai. British Journal of Politics and International Relations 18 (3) , pp. 650-670. 10.1177/1369148116631274

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This article analyses the extensive coverage in UK newspapers of the shooting, recovery and activism of Malala Yousafzai, the prominent campaigner for girls’ rights from the Swat Valley in Pakistan. The study uses discourse analysis and a poststructuralist, feminist and postcolonial approach to analyse 223 newspaper articles, identifying the dominant discourses about Yousfzai in the context of the United Kingdom’s colonial history and perceptions of its current role in global politics. The article demonstrates that the UK media’s representation of Yousafzai’s story embraces and reproduces seemingly emancipatory discourses around girls’ education, yet is ultimately limited by enduring gendered and orientalist discourses that underlie these new initiatives, which are simultaneously produced by, and productive of, unequal power relations. Despite Yousafzai’s courageous campaigning, these discourses still make it easier for UK journalists to label her the ‘shot Pakistani girl’ than to call her powerful, a survivor or indeed a feminist.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1369-1481
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 11 January 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 08:53

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