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

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs