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Malala Yousafzai: ‘Even the darkest of acts are capable of bringing great light’

Over an amazing evening in Sydney, my daughter, goddaughter and I, listened to the wisdom and courage of Malala Yousafzai.  I captured a few of her thoughts – I hope they inspire you as much as they did us.




On her work for girls’ education:

 ‘Our voices are our most powerful weapons’

 ‘I stand up for 130 million girls who are not in school, who are not receiving an education - because I was one of them’

 ‘Education is not just reading and writing- it is the future of girls - of women.’

 ‘I realized there was something special about girl’s education because the Taliban were scared of it.’

 ‘There is a huge gap in finance for girls’ education, so we are pushing for increased funding.  We aim to invest in local change makers - champions who are supporting education for girls –local teachers especially female teachers. We are also investing in digital learning because it can reach so far.’

 ‘It would be great if everyone can think about how they can help and what they can do to educate girls.  It is so important because it unlocks other consequences - alleviating poverty, reducing climate change and much more’

 ‘The 130 million girls are shouting at us.’


On how her father raised her differently

 ‘My father was always giving girls the message to be rebellious- he always listens to children and gives them equal value as he would to an adult.’ 

 ‘Writing the family tree - for 300 years the women’s names were not written on our family tree - but my father wrote my name on the family tree.’

 ‘Women are traditionally not called by their own name but named as someone’s daughter or wife so he named me Malala, after a famous Pashtun poet and warrior woman from southern Afghanistan, who had a voice and is remembered as someone who had a voice.’

 ‘When I was afraid of what might happen, what the Taliban might do, my father would say: ‘At night our fear is strong but in the morning in the light we find our courage again.’ -

‘The only thing that is different about me is that my father encouraged me to speak.’


 On what it was like after she was shot

‘I realized I had seen the worst - they tried to silence me and they still failed.’

‘Living in the UK initially was hard - so cloudy, so cold, so dark - we wanted to go home for so long’ 

‘Whatever physical weakness I have as the result of the shooting - do not let that so-called weakness stop you from following your opportunities and your dreams - first step is don’t think of it as a weakness and then you can overcome and do what you need to.’


On courage and taking a stand 

‘Courage – there were only two options - speaking the truth or to remain silent - the second option was worse.  At the time, I wasn’t thinking about courage or bravery I was thinking about my rights and I had to speak out because these were my rights.’

‘We should not be hostile we should not be cruel towards those who are displaced.  We should open our arms.

'Diversity makes the world even more beautiful.’

 ‘We need to join hands - we are all together in bringing about this change’

‘Whatever your age, whatever country you are from, whatever gender you are, believe in yourself, in your voice and the passion you have – then look at the impact you can have!’







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