Next week, less than a year after she was attacked because she campaigned for girls’ education in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai will mark her 16th birthday by delivering a set of demands to the United Nations. Support Malala and help ensure that every child gets an education, by signing her petition.
Last month 14 female students became the latest victims to be killed in a suicide bomb attack just for wanting an education. A bus carrying more than 40 students from a women’s university in Quetta was targeted by a female suicide bomber; an Al-Queda affiliated extremist group claimed credit for the attack. This latest atrocity represents an escalation in attacks on female students by Al Qaeda, which has already closed 1,000 schools and colleges in Pakistan and elsewhere.
Last October Malala Yousfzai became a victim of the Taliban when she was shot at point-blank range by a gunman on her way to school. She made a remarkable recovery and since then has become a global symbol of the campaign for girls’ right to an education. She’s even been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The problem is acute; according to A World at School, 57 million children don’t go to school, tens of millions more drop out and never complete secondary school and another 250 million children go to school, but do not learn to read or write.
Next Friday, on her 16th birthday, Malala will make her first public speech, addressing the United Nations in New York, The Telegraph reports. She’ll be delivering a set of education demands, written by young people, supporting the civil rights struggle of 57 million girls – and boys – who cannot attend school.
In the meantime a petition is calling on the UN and world leaders to fund new teachers, schools and books, to end child labour, child marriage and child trafficking and ensure that every child gets an education.
Are you going to sign the petition? What is your message to Malala?