Young activist Malala Yousafzai could have celebrated her 16th birthday any way she wanted. She chose to give a moving speech about equality to world leaders and 1,000 student members of the youth assembly at the United Nations on Friday. In her speech, her resolve to empower young women through education is stronger than ever. Her bravery and ability to not be mad at the Taliban — who shot her on the left side of her forehead on October 9, 2012 — is beyond incredible.
Malala started her speech by noting her shawl once belonged to Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of Pakistan. Bhutto was assassinated in 2007.
The ending of her speech is an eloquent, powerful call to action: “Let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty, and terrorism. Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”
Check out the videos of her speech below, both edited and full length.
Highlight of Speech