In chapter 2 or "I Am Malala", women most likely had less rights than men and the Swat government was always strict on them as well and feel as though women were a threat.
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The event that changed Pakistan during Malala's father's childhood was the coup and subsequent murdered of Pakistan's Prime Minister, which was led by Zia ul-Haq. Zia was a tyranical dictator, and as a result the United States stopped foreign aid to their country. Zia implemented harsh rules on women, taking away their legal rights and leaving them open to physical abuse.
I Am Malala