Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes, addressed hundreds of young people at the United Nations on 12th July, urging them to use education as a weapon against extremism.
“One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world,” Ms. Yousafzai said, in an address to the UN Youth Assembly.
“The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens,” she said. “The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.” Urging worldwide action against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism, she said: “Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.”
In his remarks, the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed Ms. Yousafzai, and praised her courage and determination. Mr. Ban reiterated the UN's commitment to give access to quality education to every girl and boy through the Global Education First Initiative which has three priorities: to put every child in school, improve the quality of learning, and foster global citizenship.
12th July, Malala Day, was marked in London with an event organized by Plan UK, A World at School and Southbank Centre London. The activities included screening of Malala’s address in the UN, a youth panel discussion and the premiere of a new film on girl’s education. Over three hundred guests including many school girls and boys arrived to watch a live feed of Malala’s first ever public address. Speaking at the event, Sarah Brown, Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education said: "There are 57 million girls trying to go to school. One brave girl is standing up trying to change that and we are standing with her."
To find more information on Global Education First Initiative, please click here.
To watch Malala’s address in full, please click here.
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