The United Nations has declared November 10 as ‘Malala Day’ in honour of Pakistani teeenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban last month for campaigning for girls’ education.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for Global Education, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has said November 10 has been declared Malala Day.
“This Saturday (November 10th) will see Malala Day, a global event to show the world that people of all creeds; all sexes, all backgrounds and all countries stand behind Malala,” Brown said.
“We are Malala — This is Malala day. The world to walk in the footsteps of this girl of courage. Malala Yousafzai has become a global icon of hope, an international symbol of courage, a schoolgirl who has won the hearts of millions through her bravery.
“Malala’s dream is a Pakistan where she, her friends and future generations of girls could attend school, walk freely into a classroom, learn and reach their full potential.”
The UN chief said citizens from across the globe are speaking out for Yousufzai and on behalf of the 61 million children who do not go to school.
“I am adding my voice to the messages from over one million people across the globe. Education is a fundamental human right. It is a pathway to development, tolerance and global citizenship,” Ban said in a brief video message posted on the UN Web site.
He called the international community to join the UN campaign to put education first “for Malala and girls and boys throughout the world”.
Events have been planned in over 100 countries, from the UK and the US to Mexico, India, Australia and Sierra Leone to mark the day.
In the UK where there is a host of local events, the most poignant event will take place in Lozells, Birmingham only a few miles away from Malala’s hospital.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s Senior Minister of State at the Foreign Office and Minister for Faith and Communities, hailed Malala Yousufzai’s inspirational activism ahead of Malala Day today.
Baroness Warsi, said: “Through her inspirational activism Malala has bravely highlighted the need for education to be accessible to all children in Pakistan.
“Education is the single most important factor that can transform Pakistan’s future.”
Thousands of people from across the world have signed a global petition calling for her to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is recovering in a British hospital from gun shot wounds and has received messages of support for her cause from global leaders, including US President Barack Obama.