Malala Yousafzai receives highest United Nations honour to promote girls education

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"Education is the basic right for every child; especially for girls, this right should not be neglected", Malala was quoted as saying.

The UN Messengers of Peace are chosen to highlight the work that the UN does and bringing greater attention to the organization.

Pakistan's teenage Nobel Prize victor and children and girl's rights activist, Malala Yousafzai on Monday was named the youngest ever United Nations Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on girls' education.

"Malala explained that people like her and others exist in Pakistan who resist such forces".

UN News: UN Messenger of Peace is an impressive title. And I will continue to do that.

Malala Yousafzai said she was honored to accept the position adding that it was her "who is representing Pakistan, not the extremists, not the terrorists". "You are the symbol of one of the most important causes in the world - probably the most important cause in the world - and that is education, education for all, and particularly because we know it is more hard in many societies - education for girls", Guterres said.

"If you want to see your future bright, you have to start working now (and) not wait for anyone else", he said. That is crucial. We can not ignore it. And I just sometimes wonder, why have our world leaders ignored it for so long? So that is my message, to make sure that they realise that their investment in education can change the whole world. "It wasn't that I was very intelligent or very clever or I had some special kind of training or something".

Yousafzai, who is now based in the United Kingdom, went on to make a full recovery, and has continued to campaign for young women's access to education. In 2015, a documentary titled He Named Me Malala by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim was released internationally. She called on young girls to believe in themselves as they were the "real change makers". So it is important for men to allow women to follow their dreams, to achieve their dreams.

In the year 2013, Yousafzai and her father co-founded the Mala fund in order to create more awareness about the girl education and the need to empower girls stand up and demand for the change. But as you mentioned, you're still 19. "So speaking out, you can help people". Yousafzai, then 14, nearly died. "When I was coming here everyone was telling me to shake his hand and let us know how he looks in reality". I had to go through tests. "People usually when they get all these honours become full of vanity, they become hard to access, but you are this fantastic example of friendship and simplicity that really makes us very, very, very appreciative".

This post was syndicated from BusinessDay: News you can trust.

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