Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan as she left school in 2012, said because she was targeted by the Taliban for speaking out on the importance of education for girls and women, that “it proved to me that the Taliban were scared of the voice of women and girls. They did not want to hear women and girls speak out for equality, and they did not want to see women being educated. The education of women and girls is a threat to the ideology of extremism that the Taliban spread.”
Yousafzai spoke on a panel discussion on girls’ education in Afghanistan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday (September 24).
“I want to say to Afghanistan’s women and girls that they must stand up for their rights and because so many of them have been in jobs, so many of them have been educated, they know their rights and they cannot imagine living in a world where they would not have access to those opportunities anymore,” she said. “We cannot make compromises on the protection of women’s rights and on the protection of human dignity. This is a commitment that the U.N. has made, that they are there to work for the protection of human dignity. Now is the time that we stick to that commitment and ensure that the rights of Afghan women are protected.”
(Production: Roselle Chen)