Since the shooting by religious extremists of Malala Yousafzai in her home town of Mingora, Pakistan last month, the fifteen year old school girl and education campaigner has become a global symbol for every girl’s right to education.
nspired by her story and extraordinary personal courage in the face of violence, campaigners across the globe have rallied behind Malala, while the UN have declared November 10th ‘Malala Day,’ as a means of both recognising her struggle and furthering its aims.
[vimeo height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]http://vimeo.com/53166149[/vimeo]Following her rise to prominence as the author of a BBC blog detailing life in Pakistan’s Swat valley under the grip of Taliban extremists, Malala and her family spent three years leading up to the assassination attempt campaigning for a right to education for girls everywhere, gaining the ire of militant factions still operating in the area following the declared removal of Taliban forces in 2009.
The savagery and injustice of the attack has served to unite campaigners worldwide in an effort to ensure that 61 million children across the globe who still find themselves denied access to even the most basic primary education be placed firmly on the international agenda.
the UN have declared November 10th ‘Malala Day’, as a means of both recognising her struggle and furthering its aims.
With the global day of action declared in Malala’s name now underway, vigils and demonstrations are being held both in Pakistan and internationally, while a petition bearing more than 1 million signatures is to be presented to Pakistan’s president Asif Ali Zardari, calling on the country’s government to agree to a plan to deliver education to every child and stressing the need for all nations to outlaw educational discrimination against girls.
In addition to Malala Day, the UN are also responsible for the launch of the Malala Education and Anti-Poverty Institute, mandated to campaign for the right to education for all, and the Malala Foundation, intended to provide financial support to at risk girls in order to allow them to complete their education.
Brown has described Malala as a ‘Beacon of hope’ for children without education everywhere
These moves are part of the wider UN Secretary General’s Education First initiative, which seeks to ensure that conditions to promote equal access to education for all children regardless of background are met by the end of 2015.
Headed up by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the initiative seeks to ensure that all children presently denied education are able to access, at a minimum, a basic level of primary schooling. Over two-thirds of these children arelocated in just ten countries: Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Cote d’Ivore. Brown has described Malala as a ‘Beacon of hope’ for children without education everywhere.
You can add your support to Malala’s fight by signing the petition here: http://educationenvoy.org/petition
by Sam Jones