It’s time to work for Girls’ Education, says new UN Peace Messenger Malala

Men should not clip the “wings of women and let them fly”.

Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has been given the designation of youngest-ever ‘Messenger of Peace’ by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. With the designation, Yousafzai joins other current Messengers of Peace including Oscar-winning actor Leonardo di Caprio for climate change, actor Charlize Theron, whose focus is the prevention of HIV and elimination of violence against women and actor Michael Douglas whose focus is disarmament.

UN Messengers of Peace are distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the global Organisation.

Yousafzai was shot in 2012 by the Taliban for attending classes. “While recovering from the Taliban attack, extremists tried everything to stop me (and the fact that they didn’t) is clear evidence that no one can stop me. They tried to kill me and they didn’t succeed. Now this is a new life, this is a second life and it is for the purpose of education and I’ll continue working on (this issue),” said Yousafzai while addressing the gathering.

Accepting the accolade, Yousafzai underscored the importance of education, especially the education of girls, for advancing communities and societies. She was of the view that to bring about the change we have to take a step forward and the time to take that step is NOW. If you have a desire to see a bright future, you have to start working from now and nobody will come and help you in the same, she said.

In 2013, Yousafzai and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai co-founded the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education, and to empower girls to demand change. She became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate in December 2014, sharing the honour with Indian children’s rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi.

She is the symbol of one of the most important causes in the world – and that is education, education for all, and particularly because we know it is more difficult in many societies – education for girls. Malala Fund – the organization established by her advocate – at local, national and international levels – for resources and policy changes needed to ensure all girls complete 12 years of school. Malala Fund wants to see a world where every girl can complete 12 years of safe, quality education. They invest in developing country education leaders and organizations – the people who best understand girls in their communities – in regions where most girls miss out on secondary education.

Guterrers called Yousafzai’s life “a remarkable example of solidarity.” He added that “we live in a world where so many borders are closed; so many doors are closed” but leaders should know that “it is not by closing doors that we will all be able to move forward.” For the leaders pave their own path to be successful one day.

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