News / USA

Young Taliban Victim Calls for Children's Rights

On Her Birthday, Malala Brings Education Message to UNi
X
July 13, 2013
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid