News / USA

Young Taliban Victim Calls for Children's Rights

On Her Birthday, Malala Brings Education Message to UNi
X
July 13, 2013 1:07 AM
Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for being an outspoken voice for girls’ schooling, brought her message to the United Nations on Friday, which also happened to be her 16th birthday. VOA United Nations correspondent Margaret Besheer has more.
Margaret Besheer
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistan girl shot by the Taliban in 2012 for being an outspoken voice for girls' education, marked her 16th birthday Friday by giving a speech before U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and more than 500 of her peers at the world deliberative body's New York headquarters.
 
Addressing the youth assembly, Yousafzai said the gunmen could not silence her because knowledge and education is more powerful than their bullets, adding that Friday's event, which has been referred to as "Malala Day," was really about the much broader cause of children's rights worldwide.
 
“Do remember one thing, 'Malala Day' is not my day," she said, clothed in a pink shalwar khamez and a shawl that belonged to the late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. "Today is the day of every woman, every boy, and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights."
 
Yousafzai was grievously wounded just nine months ago in Pakistan's Swat Valley, shot in the left side of her head at by Taliban gunmen who also killed two of her friends. The young rights activist was accompanied to the event, her first major public speech since the shooting, by her parents and two brothers.
 
“Terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died," she said. "Strength, power and courage was born. I am the same Malala."
 
Malala Yousafzai speaks to former British PM Gordon Brown before speaking at the U.N. Youth Assembly, July 12, 2013.Malala Yousafzai speaks to former British PM Gordon Brown before speaking at the U.N. Youth Assembly, July 12, 2013.
x
Malala Yousafzai speaks to former British PM Gordon Brown before speaking at the U.N. Youth Assembly, July 12, 2013.
Malala Yousafzai speaks to former British PM Gordon Brown before speaking at the U.N. Youth Assembly, July 12, 2013.
Yousafzai came to the U.N. to deliver to the secretary-general a petition signed by more than four million people, calling on the international assembly to fund new teachers, schools and books, and calling on governments to ensure free and compulsory education worldwide for every child. She urged a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism.
 
“Let’s pick up our books and our pens," she said. "They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first!”
 
Ban said 57 million children around the world do not attend primary school. Many of them live in conflict zones and most are girls. He reflected on attacks on schools around the world, most recently in Nigeria, where terrorists killed 29 students.
 
"No child should have to die for going to school," said Ban. "Nowhere should teachers fear to teach or children fear to learn. Together, we can change this picture."
 
Last September, Ban launched the Global Education First Initiative with the goal of putting every child in school by the end of 2015 and improving the quality of learning.
 
According to reports by Reuters, research by the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO indicates that Pakistan has 5 million children out of school, a number only surpassed by Nigeria, which has more than 10 million children out of school, most of whom are girls.
 
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bakhtiar Basher from: Iraq
July 14, 2013 3:41 AM
International Children's Rights Instruments have made protecting children's rights access to education an international responsibility. Although some extremists groups in Pakistan , Afganistan and in recent years in Iraq have created terror environment for girls education especially , Figures like Malala has inspired by international norms to challenge dogmatic values and combat terrorist groups . We have to emphasize that this journey is not safe and smooth.

by: Chaka from: Mongolia
July 14, 2013 1:05 AM
Happy birthday, Malala. Wish you all the best. Yes, Education first. I believe that one day world will become a more humane and happier place to live because of you, the people like you.

by: Romildo Caldas from: Brazil
July 13, 2013 7:13 PM
Malala, I am sure You were born with a special Mission given by God. All Men and Women Who love School Education and Promotion of Peace, are around You lending support.
I am One of them.

by: John Koduru from: Cleveland, Ohio USA
July 13, 2013 5:16 PM
Good job Malala. You give hope to the millions of young girls all around the world. As a father of six girls, you made me very proud. I want to see all the girls around the world to have the same chances my daughters have, growing up here in the United States. My eldest daughter is a lawyer, passionate about human rights. second a nurse. Third studying to be Social Worker to help children, others in college and school. God Bless you and prosper your dreams. Mr. K

by: Abdul Qayoom Abro from: Jaccobabad
July 13, 2013 2:47 PM
Malala i was with you at that time when was you injured i explain loudly in Street that one child can think about education so why do we not?

by: S.a.Nayer from: Karachi-Pakistan
July 13, 2013 5:09 AM
V ALL PAKISTANIS LOVE U "MALALA" HAPPY BIRTH DAY 2 U
TODAY PEACE, LOVE & EDUCATION WON AND TERRORISM DEFEATED............JUST BECAUSE OF U, MY DEAR CUTE CHILD , MALALA MAY GOD BLESS U 4 EVER.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 12, 2013 7:34 PM
This news was aired on TV this morning in Japan,too. I heard a part of her adress in English. I was so much touched by her simple but strong words probably like her audiences in UN. I also believe that the pen is mightier than the sward. I wish Malala and numerous children out of school around the world good, good luck !

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs