UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations has announced to observe ‘Malala Day’ today (Saturday) under its supervision across the world in the honour of child activist from Swat, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has extended his support to the young girl and her fight for education, describing her as the “global symbol” of every girl’s right to an education.
Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for Global Education, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said November 10, a month after Malala was shot at by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education in Pakistan, has been declared Malala Day.
The day would be commemorated in support of the 15-year old and the 32 million girls like her around the globe who are denied their right to school, Brown said.
In his message of support for Yousafzai and girls’ education, Ban said, “Malala Yousafzai is a global symbol of every girl’s right to an education.” The UN chief said citizens from across the globe are speaking out for Malala 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 website. He called the international community to join the UN campaign to put education first “for Malala and girls and boys throughout the world”.
Meanwhile, Gordon Brown Friday presented a petition with more than a million signatures in support of Malala to the Pakistan government. Brown, during the launching ceremony of Waseela-e-Taleem initiative in Islamabad, presented to President Asif Ali Zardari the petition carrying more than one million signatures of the people across the world to show solidarity with Malala. The president also signed the petition during the ceremony.
Malala Friday thanked people around the world for their support in a message from hospital passed on by her father. “Malala and her family believe that there are many more courageous and brave girls and families in your country who want to stand up for the right of every child, in particular girls, to have the education that they deserve,” he said.
Earlier, tens of thousands of Britons called on the government to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. A campaign led by a Pakistani-British woman urged Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior government officials to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Malala doesn’t just represent one young woman, she speaks out for all those who are denied an education purely on the basis of their gender,” campaign leader Shahida Chaudhry said in a statement issued by global petition platform Change.org.
More than 30,000 people have signed the petition in Britain as part of a global push by women’s rights advocates to nominate her for the prize. Similar campaigns have sprung up in Canada, France and Spain. Under the Nobel Committee’s rules, only prominent figures such as members of national assemblies and governments are able to make nominations.