Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban last October, addressed the United Nations on Friday, marking her 16th birthday. Yousafzi was shot in the head by masked gunmen while on a school bus in an effort to silence her campaign for girls’ rights.
Yousafzi symbolically wore a pink shawl that belonged to assassinated Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto. In her speech to the United Nations, Yousafzi argued that “The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens. They are afraid of women.” She called on political leaders to ensure that every child—boy and girl—has access to education.
“Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”
The complete video of the address is available on YouTube (and below).
What do you think? Does education reduce the propensity for violence and extremism? Would greater access to education—particularly female education—in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan reduce the ongoing violence there? Take the poll below or leave a comment and let us know what think.