DAVOS: Nobel Prize laureate and social activist Malala Yousafzai stressed collective responsibility to promote the education of young girls across the globe.
While speaking at the World Economic Forum session titled ‘An Insight, An Idea with Malala Yousafzai’ on Thursday, 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 school. 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 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 what to become when they grow up, one of the girls said she wants to be an architect. I asked her why. 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.”
‘Want to go back to Pakistan’
When asked about her plans for the future, the 20-year-old shared: “I hope that I can go back to Pakistan sometime and see my country.”
It is just so hard if you haven’t seen your home, your relatives, your friends for more than five years, she said, adding “I didn’t leave the country by choice it was the circumstances that forced me. So I want to go back o Pakistan.”
The Pakistani education activist came to prominence when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head in 2012 as she was leaving school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, north-west of the country’s capital Islamabad. She was targeted for her campaign against efforts by the Taliban to deny women education.
Malala also remarked that her father wants her to complete her Masters and PhD and “stick to university.” However, she shared that she wants to explore more.
Malala stresses investing in education of girls
On the significance of education, she said that it can play a key role in giving the message of equality.
“There are 130 million girls [across the globe] who can’t go to schools. [When we] talk about women’s empowerment, their equality, women participating in the economy, labour force and women contributing to the whole development of a country, we have to invest in their education.”
Malala remarked that as a social activist she tries to convince governments to invest in the education of young girls. “That’s one way towards empowerment.”
‘Time for women to raise their voices’
Sharing her opinion on US President Donald Trump, 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.”
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 researched more on the word she realised that it just means equality. “No one would object equality”.
Malala also 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 any time possible.”
The WEF is currently being held in Davos with celebrities, politicians, journalists, businessmen among others attending it. –Web Desk