Nobel Peace Prize laureate and social activist Malala Yousafzai on Thursday stressed collective responsibility to promote the education of young girls across the globe while addressing a session during the annual World Economic Forum here.
Speaking at the session titled “An Insight, An Idea with Malala Yousafzai”, the 20-year-old activist admitted that the fight for female education is not a single person’s job.
“Not one person will be able to do this. I (alone) can’t send all girls to schools. What I can do is send as many girls as possible. I try to reach out to as many girls as possible.”
“It is also important to remind everyone that they can all play a role in this struggle. This is a responsibility we should all realise,” she said.
Youzafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17, making her the youngest Nobel laureate to date, began her fight for equality at the age of 11, resisting the fundamentalist Taliban’s prohibition of local girls going to school.
She said: “Imagine how many girls we lose daily? Recently, I went to Lebanon and I met female Syrian refugees. I asked the girls what they what to become when they grow up, one of the girls said she wants to be an architect. I asked her, ‘why do you want to be an architect’. She replied that when she was leaving Syria, she saw so much destruction and devastation she decided that she will rebuild her country once she goes back.”
Youzafzai added: “You have to speak out for those girls. They are a resource for their community. If we don’t raise our voices then these girls will never be able to have a voice or rights.”
Talking about US President Donald Trump, the activist said: “I just get so disappointed to see that people in high positions talking about women in unequal terms and do not accept them as equals. It’s shocking.”
When asked about her journey to feminism, Youzafzai said: “It’s just another word for equality. No one should object to it because of course women should have the same rights as men. I was already a feminist, I just began to understand it better.”
Malala encouraged young girls to play their part in bringing change.
Aiming to empower girl education in India and other countries, Apple earlier announced support for the Malala Fund — led by the activist — which is focused on advocating every girl’s right to 12 years of free, safe and quality education.
With Apple’s support, the Malala Fund expects to double the number of grants awarded by its “Gulmakai Network” and extend funding programmes to India and Latin America.
The fund’s “Gulmakai Network” currently supports programmes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey and Nigeria.