Education the weapon of choice for Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai
Photo credit: UN Photo / Mark Garten
Youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai visited Sydney for the first time on December 10, 2018, to speak about her advocacy for girls’ education around the world.
Addressing an 8000-strong crowd at Sydney’s International Convention Centre, Malala thanked the audience for their support of her efforts in working to ensure all 130 million girls have access to school and an education.
Education is not just learning, and reading and writing; education is the future of girls, it is the future of women.
“We need to give them the opportunity to learn, to read, to write, to reach their full potential, and they can change the world,” she explained.
Having travelled around the world, Malala spoke of the stories she had heard from many young girls in countries including Kenya, Rwanda, Lebanon and Brazil.
“All of these girls have dreams, they all want to become something in their lives, and they know that education can change their lives,” she said.
“These are the stories that I hear and see, and when I meet these girls it inspires me to continue fighting because I know there are 130 million girls who are out of school.”
Malala’s fight began in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, when the Taliban announced over FM radio that girls were no longer allowed to attend school from January 2009.
But, she didn’t let this stop her.
At the age of 11, Malala began a blog for the BBC to speak out for the rights of girls, and at 15 years of age, she survived a bullet wound to the head in an assassination attempt by the Taliban after her advocacy began to garner support around the world.
“You can change the world no matter how old you are, whichever background you’re from, whichever gender you are, however you want to identify yourself, whichever culture, religion or tradition you belong to; you can change the world,” she said.
“It is education that raises awareness in society regarding freedom of speech, democracy, equality.
It is education that allows so many girls to come out of the social trap and gain their independence and equality.
“Believe in yourself, believe in your voice and believe in the power that you have.”
Photo credit: Official White House Photo / Pete Souza
Malala’s next book, We Are Displaced, a follow-up to her Memoir I am Malala, will introduce some of the faces behind the statistics and news stories of the millions of people displaced worldwide.
We Are Displaced will be out on Australian shelves on January 8, 2019.
Click HERE for more information about the book.