Malala: I stand up for 130 million girls who don’t have an education


By Neeru Saluja


“If you give an education to a girl, you are changing their life and the world, too.”


Those were the inspiring words from Malala Yousafzai as she addressed an 8000 strong Sydney crowd at the International Convention Centre.

As thousands of women, children and parents came to hear the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, the 21 year old shared her struggle for education with host Annabel Crabb and her experiences living under the Taliban rule in Pakistan.

“The reason I stand up for 130 million girls who don’t have an education is because I was one of them,” told Malala as she thanked the audience for their support of her efforts in working to ensure girls have access to school and an education.

At the age of 11, Malala began a blog for BBC to speak for the rights of girls. In 2012, when she was 15 years old, a Taliban gunman shot her on her way home from school because she had the courage to say that she had the right to be educated.

The incident made her a global household name and an inspiration to many. She continued to advocate for girls rights to education, founded the Malala fund and co-authored the book ‘I am Malala’, an international best seller. She is now ready to launch her next book ‘We are Displaced’ and is studying at Oxford University.

“Do not let your age stop you from changing the world, you can change the world despite your age, background, gender, culture or religion.” Malala shared her encounters with young girls from various countries and how they all strived for better education. “When I meet these girls it inspires me to continue fighting as I know education can change their lives.”

When asked about the influence of her parents, Malala announced her family were there in the audience. Her father, the biggest influence in her mission always believed in her and never stopped her.   While her loving yet strict mother would complain about her messy room and the clothes she wore!

As Malala won the hearts of the audience, she also declared how within two days Australia has won her heart. “I already love the country. I’ve come from the UK, the cold and rain. I’m enjoying the weather here. And I love the Australian cricket team!”

As she continues speaking around the world to promote women rights, Malala urged Australian students to make their voices heard. “Believe in yourself, your voice, the power you have and you can change the world.”

An Evening with Malala was part of The Growth Faculty’s Women World Changers series.
















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