Pledging to devote her life for the education of girls, Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai has said she does not want to be known as the girl the Taliban tried to kill but as “the girl who struggled for her rights.”
“The attack on October 9 was just a part of my life. I want to work hard; I want to sacrifice my whole life for the education of girls,” Malala said, addressing Pakistan’s UN Mission in New York yesterday.
“And to be true, I want to say that I don’t want to be the girl who was shot by the Taliban, I want to be the girl who struggled for her rights,” she said.
She made the remarks, a day after giving a widely acclaimed speech at the UN.
The UN appearance was Malala’s first public speech since the Taliban targeted her in an attack and shot her last October in a bid to end her campaign to get girls into schools.
Malala, in her UN speech, invoked Mahatma Gandhi and other global advocates of non-violence stressing that, “I’m not against anyone, neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban, or any other terrorist group.”
“I’m here to speak about the right of education for every child,” Malala had said, in an impassioned address to the UN Youth Assembly.
The 16-year-old, in her address at Pakistan’s UN Mission, said she would devote her life for the education of girls.
Malala added that she was determined to continue with her struggle for a right to live in peace, for a right to go to school.
She reaffirmed her message that the Taliban and other extremists do not understand the importance of education.
The Pakistani Permanent Mission invited her to drum up support from member-states that it is opposed to the Taliban movement.
Malala said people who think that when a woman goes to school she will be empowered, they are afraid of it.
“They are still targeting schools, they are still killing innocent children,” she said, referring to recent attacks by extremists in both her native Pakistan and Nigeria.
If we work together, we will soon see that there will be many schools created in Pakistan and Afghanistan and poor countries. And we will see that every woman and every girl will have the same rights as men have,” she said.
“We do want equality, we are not like men,” she joked.