“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
This year’s theme, “Equality for women is progress for all” emphasizes how gender equality, empowerment of women, women’s full enjoyment of human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development. It also stresses the vital role of women as agents of development.”
16 years old Pakistani schoolgirl and campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago after campaigning for better rights for girls in Pakistan, has received the EU’s Sakharov human rights prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg.
The 50,000 euro ($65,000) prize is considered Europe’s top human rights award.
“I am hopeful the European Parliament will look beyond Europe to the suffering countries where people are still deprived of their basic rights, their freedom of thought is suppressed, freedom of speech is enchained,” Ms Yousafzai said.
“Many children have no food to eat, no water to drink and children are starving for education. It is alarming that 57 million children are deprived of education… this must shake our conscience.”
She began her speech with a famous quote from 18th Century French philosopher Voltaire: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
She said children in countries such as Pakistan “do not want an iPhone, a PlayStation or chocolates, they just want a book and a pen”.
MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) gave her a standing ovation.
You can see her and listen to parts of her speech here :
Look, I wanna make a nation proud, one day we’ll say things loud and be free
with the power of our speech we can change our world and how it’s perceived
we’ve got doubts and beliefs but not one thing’s truly out of our reach
don’t tell me the sky’s the limit cause nothing can pull me down
when I dream I’m working on turning ‘em into a reality and opening eyes
and sharing a vision with every person who had chosen to be blind
I wanna focus their minds to show that despite we’re broken inside
we can stand powerful together without a cloak or disguise
I hope in the future that I can look back on a new generation that’s peaceful
that’s grateful they’re equal cause those before made a change for the people
with paints and an easel we picture perfect drew our attention to making the most of our time
creating more than useless inventions
I’m only young so I guess it’s down for you to decide
would you choose to fight for what you believe in would you do what is right
if I needed you would you stand tall with me right here by my side
be the change you want to see, take a look through my eyes
I am Malala I am infinite hope I am Malala, I am, I am, I am I am Malala I am infinite hope
I am Malala, I am, I am, I am I am Malala
They say the harder the culture, they say the harder the girl
I say the smarter the girl, then the stronger our world
from a country where we made fortunes of others’ misfortunes
and betray our own people then we mourn for a portion of time
always taught to fight for my rights
Malala fought for education then she fought for her life
it’s hard to strive to be better when oppressed by the suppressors
treated like the lesser, just be clever ignore the ignorance
from the ignorant society is ridiculous but it’s the world that we’re living in
chauffeurs our drive and denies our desire being silent doesn’t help,
it adds fuel to the fire how can somebody young like me even find any truth
when nobody’s looking for truth in the youth life isn’t a choice,
so who are we to say what’s void and Malala gave a voice to me cuz…
hard work and talent equals infinite growth
in school a child and a teacher equals infinite hope… 🙂
This German campaign wants to show that 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence in their country (most of them are beaten up by their partner). Say NO to violence!
Malala Yousafzai, the teenager who was shot in the head by Taliban in Pakistan for advocating girls’ education, attended her first day of school in Birmingham, England, weeks after being released from hospital.
The 15-year-old, who is among nominees for this year’s Nobel peace prize, described her return to school as the most important day of her life, as she joined other students in Birmingham.
“I am excited that today I have achieved my dream of going back to school. I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity,” she said.