Educating girls collective responsibility, says Malala at Davos

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DAVOS : Nobel Prize laureate and social activist Malala Yousafzai stressed collective responsibility to promote education of young girls across the globe.

While speaking the World Economic Forum session titled ‘An Insight, An Idea with Malala Yousafzai’, she 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 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 further 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 want 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.”

Malala stressed, “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.”

When asked about her journey to feminism, Malala shared: “When I first heard about feminism, it was not about women’s right, not about equality. I came across these messages that feminism is controversial, that feminism is women’s superiority. I wasn’t sure what this word meant.”

However, she added that as she more researched on the world she realised that it just means equality. “No one would object equality”.

On the significance of education, she shared that education can play a key role in giving the message of equality.

Sharing her opinion on the “MeToo “movement across the world, Malala said: “I just get disappointed to see people in high positions openly talk against women, they do not accept women as equal, they harass women and it’s just shocking for a second to believe that this is happening.”

She added, “I hope women stand up and speak out against it. It’s time for women to raise their voices, so their voices are heard and it reaches minds.”

Malala encouraged the young girls to speak up and play their part in bringing change. “I started speaking out when I was 11. Soon, I realised people were listening to me. Change is possible. Don’t limit yourself just because you are young. You can bring change at anytime possible.”

The WEF is currently being held in Davos with celebrities, politicians, journalists, businessmen among others attending it.

At 19, Yousafzai is the youngest Messenger of Peace, the highest honour given by the United Nations for an initial period of two years. She was also the youngest person to win the Nobel peace prize in 2014 when she was 17.

Orignally published by INP

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