“Let us wage a glorious struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism. Let us pick up our books and our pens, and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness.”
These were the words spoken by 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, above, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 for advocating for girls’ education, at the UN Conference in New York on Friday. Wearing the late Benazir Bhutto’s shawl, Yousafzai spoke about education as a way to fight extremism. “The extremists are afraid of books and pens,” she said in her speech. “The power of education frightens them.”
In honor of Malala Day, “the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who [has] raised their voice for their rights,” we invite you to watch this playlist of talks all about the importance of educating women.
- Kavita Ramdas: Radical women, embracing tradition
- Shabana Basij-Rasikh: Dare to educate Afghan girls
- Michelle Obama’s plea for education
- Kakenya Ntaiya: A girl who demanded school
- Sheryl WuDUnn: Our century’s greatest injustice
Yousafzai says that “the pen is mightier than the sword” but for an alternate perspective, watch this shocking presentation from filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. In this talk from TED2010, she takes us inside a Taliban school and addresses the big question of how children are being convinced to become suicide bombers.