The attack on a 14-year-old girl shook the nation, but Malala Yousafzai is not the first female to be targeted by the Taliban.
The ruthless militants have previously targeted and killed two women from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Earlier this year, on July 5, militants killed Khyber Agency-based social worker Farida Afridi. Her crime, purportedly, was to be an agent of change in the conservative tribal agency.
Afridi was among the founding members of a local organisation, Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas (Sawera).
She was on her way to her office in the Hayatabad locality of Peshawar, from her hometown Ghundi village in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency, when militants opened fire, killing her on the spot.
The Taliban’s first female victim was Shabnam, from the courtesans’ quarters in Swat’s capital Mingora.
When she refused to bow down to moral policing, some militants dragged her out of home and shot her dead in the Green Chowk of Mingora.
The square later earned notoriety for executions and beheadings during the Taliban reign in Swat.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2012.