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Champion of education: Malala Yousafzai

Champion of education: Malala Yousafzai

Our Champion of Education segment will profile a person who has been exceptional in their support for education, wherever they are in the world. We take a look at a champion who has been at the forefront of change and an inspiration to many: Malala Yousafzai.

Malala Yousafzai, now the global face of education in the developing world, recently turned 16. The schoolgirl first came to international attention in October 2012 when gunmen stopped a school bus and shot her in the face for championing of education for girls in the patriarchal nation. Fourteen of her classmates died in the ambush. She survived.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting but said it was not about her stance on education but the fact she was a pioneer for "preaching secularism".

Hey, if preaching secularism goes hand-in-hand with education, then carry on, Malala. In any case, you must be doing something right if you have these armed extremists all worked about the international profile you've gained from your survival. Shooting an unarmed schoolgirl in the face? Cowards. Let's hear from someone with a spine.

Ladies and gentlemen, here's Malala Yousafzai's address to the United Nations.

"They thought that the bullets would silence us. They failed. Out of the silence came thousands of voices… The power of education frightens them."

If you want to read more about the backlash Malala faces in her own country, this article by Shakira Hussein provides a good overview.

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