Malala Yousafzai is a 16 year old girl from the town of Mingora in Pakistan. On the 12th July this year, her 16th birhday, she gave a speech to the United Nations calling for the freedom of education for all children in the world.
When she was 12 years old, the Taliban had banned girls from attending school, which in turn forced ger father to close the all girls school he operated. Malala became an activist, wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC and was the subject of a documentary.
In October last year she was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. She survived and was later sent to Birmingham in the UK for intensive rehabilitation.
Former British Prime Minister and current U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a United Nations petition in Yousafzai’s name, using the slogan “I am Malala” and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has announced on 10 November that 12 July, the birthday of Malala Yousafzai will be celebrated as Malala Day. It is fitting that Malala was able to speak to the United Nations on her birthday.
I watched the speech today on YouTube and was so moved I wanted to share her story in this article. Here is the speech, the text and the documentary and more links.
You can read the full text on the Guardian web site by following this link.
Documentary (30 minutes)
Watch the documentary Class Dismissed – The Death of Female Education – “A 2009 documentary by Adam B. Ellick profiled Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl whose school was shut down by the Taliban”.
Number 2 Activist – On the cover of Time Magazine
- Global Education First
- Malala Yousafzai calls on governments to provide free education for all (Guardian). Read article.
- Malala Yousafzai article on Wikipedia
- Education Envoy web site
- Malala Day (on Education Envoy web site)
- Swat: Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl (Malala Yousafzai) . Read the blog.