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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More