Malala Day Takes Over the United Nations

BlogHer Original Post

Most girls celebrate their 16th birthday by getting their driver’s license, maybe a party. Not Malala Yousafzai. She’s recovered from her horrific head injuries after being shot by the Taliban last year for wanting to go to school, and today Malala spent her 16th birthday by going to the United Nations to rally for education.

Malala Yousafzai speaks at the United Nations, Image Credit: United Nations, via YouTube

Did you know there are 57 million children in the world who don’t have access to education? Malala is joining youth advocates from 80 nations to petition to change that, with an ambitious goal of making schooling available for all those kids by 2015. And while I normally wouldn't comment on what women leaders are wearing, I do think it's remarkable to note that the pink shawl wrapped around Malala once belonged to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazhir Bhutto.

Malala is awesome. What else can I say?

I'll let her do the talking. Some highlights of her speech:

“I speak, not for myself, but so those with no voice can be heard. ”

Malala day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl to raise their voice for their right.

“They thought that a bullet would silence us, but they failed. Out of the silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aim and stop my ambition but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”

Watch the video of Malala’s speech at the UN headquarters Friday morning, here:

And you can sign Malala's petition for global education.

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.

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