Activist Malala Yousafzai became an honorary Canadian citizen and gave a speech to Parliament urging the Canadian government to globally prioritize girls’ education.
Yousafzai, 19, the winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, asked Canada in her address Wednesday to make the schooling of girls a global issue and to insist on 12 years of education for refugees. She also requested that Canada host a meeting of the Global Partnership for Education, a Washington-based non-profit organization of 65 countries serving as the only global fund whose sole focus is education in developing countries.
“I stand with girls, as someone who knows how it feels to have your right of education taken away and your dreams threatened. I know where I stand. If you stand with me, I ask you to seize every opportunity for girls’ education over the next year,” she told Paliament.
She also praised Canadians for standing firm against global terrorism.
Prior to her speech, Pakistan-born Yousafzai was awarded honorary citizenship and was introduced in Parliament by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “the newest and possibly bravest citizen of Canada.”
She became an education activist after she was attacked in an assassination attempt by Taliban members in 2012 for her campaign to promote education for girls. She now lives in London, where she recovered from the shooting. Earlier this week, she was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
By Ed Adamczyk