The father of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot by the Taliban for advocating girls’ right to education, has been named as the Special UN Advisor on Global Education.
The announcement was made by Gordon Brown, who is the United Nations’ Special Envoy for Global Education.
He said that once the 15-year-old school girl, who is currently in London, gets well, she too will join the campaign.
“Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father, will become my special advisor on global education.
“His unique qualities — a teacher and headteacher as well as a parent who has had to struggle against opposition to girls’ education and the closing of schools — makes him ideally suited to leading in our educational effort to get all to school,” Brown said in his Huffington Post blog.
Yousafzai has been appointed to help in what Brown has dubbed a new ‘Malala Plan’ to get all girls into school around the world by the end of 2015.
The former British Prime Minister is also pitching for Malala’s birthday, July 12, to be designated a day of action each year when children around the world are invited to march, demonstrate, petition and pray for education to be delivered worldwide.
“Now and for every day until all young children have the chance to go to school, ‘I am Malala’ will be the banner under which millions of girls throughout the world will demand their right to education,” he said.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province in Pakistan where Malala lives, 700,000 children are still not at primary school — and 600,000 of them are girls, whose chances of education are a fraction of those of boys, he said.
In an attack that shocked the world, Malala was shot in the head as punishment for the “crime” of campaigning for girls’ rights to go to school on October 9.
She survived the assassination attempt but requires reconstructive surgery after the bullet grazed her brain, coming within centimetres of killing her.
She was later flown to UK where she is being treated.