Malala addresses UN, says extremists are afraid of women, education

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July 12, 2013

UNITED NATIONS: Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, celebrates her 16th birthday on Friday by addressing the United Nations.

July 12, 2013

UNITED NATIONS: Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, celebrates her 16th birthday on Friday by addressing the United Nations.

The UN has declared July 12 'Malala Day', and to mark the occasion the teen, who returned to school in March after medical treatment in Britain for injuries suffered in the October attack, will address more than 500 young leaders from around the world at a Youth Assembly.

Here are the highlights of Malala Yousufzai's address:

· If we want to achieve goals, let us empower ourselves with weapon of knowledge, let us shield ourselves with peace & unity.

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.

Let us wage a global struggle a global struggle for our brothers and sisters who wait for a brighter future.

Terrorists are misusing the name of Islam for their own benefits. Islam is a religion of peace.

There was a time when women's activists asked men to stand up for women's rights. This time we will do it ourselves.

Extremists are afraid of women, education. They are afraid of change.

We realised the importance of books and pens when we saw violence in Swat.

There was a time when women's activists asked men to stand up for women's rights. This time we will do it ourselves. We not succeed when half of us are held back.

Unesco and 'Save the Children' released a special reported entitled "Children battling to go to school", ahead of Malala's speech.

The report found that 95 per cent of the 28.5 million children who aren't getting a primary school education live in low and lower-middle income countries 44 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, 19 per cent in south and west Asia and 14 per cent in the Arab states.

Girls make up 55 per cent of the total and are often the victims of rape and other sexual violence that accompanies armed conflicts.

The study found that in 2012 there were more than 3,600 documented attacks on education, including violence, torture and intimidation against children and teachers resulting in death or grave injuries, as well as the shelling and bombing of schools and the recruitment of school-aged children by armed groups.

According to the report, while the number of primary school age children who are not getting an education has fallen to 57 million in 2011 from 60 million in 2008, during that period the percentage of youth in conflict-affected countries who aren't at primary school rose to 50 per cent from 42 per cent.

"Across many of the world's poorest countries, armed conflict continues to destroy not just school infrastructure, but also the hopes and ambitions of a whole generation of children," Unesco's director-general Irina Bokova said.


Courtesy: AP