World education petition launched at UN with girl rights hero Malala Yousafzai

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Girls study in classroom in Pakistan
Girls attend class in a school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan through a funding program offered by the UK based DFID – Department for International Development campaign in September 2011. Image: Vicki Francis/DFID

(WNN) United Nations, New York, New York, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: The United Nations is gearing up campaign in a push for greater worldwide education as they get ready for a July 12 appearance with education rights advocate Malala Yousafzai at the UN.

Named by TIME magazine as one of the “most influential people in the world,” Pakistani native Yousafzai will be appearing for the first time to give a public speech at the United Nations since she was attacked and hospitalized for her outspoken statements supporting girls in school in October 2012. For the United Nations launch Yousafzai’s efforts will also include a global petition sponsored by the UN that are all part of efforts to establish universal primary education by December 2015.

“We are in the middle of an education emergency…,” starts the petition at the UN called A World at School – Stand With Malala.

As the first person to officially sign the petition, Malala Yousafzai has volunteered with the UN to speak on her 16th birthday on July 12 to say that she is not giving up on rights for girls to attend school. She is now considered an official spokesperson for the UN’s global educational efforts.

Following a recent June 16, 2013 bombing attack in Quetta, Pakistan that has killed 14 young women medical students, education advocates are reeling with outrage.

The attack by extremists in the western Baluchistan region of Quetta is thought to have been committed by a female suicide bomber who sat inconspicuously on a bus transporting over 40 young women from a Pakistani all-girl medical college, called Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University.

“The full horror of Saturday’s terrorist attack on 45 girls on a college bus is only now becoming known,” said Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown in his most recent blog on Huffington Post.

“It now seems clear that suicide bombers, including one female terrorist, blew up the vehicle, before following the casualties to a nearby hospital, taking the injured, their relatives and nursing staff hostage and peppering the medical facility with bullets and grenades before blowing themselves up,” continued Brown.

Malala herself is a survivor of extreme violence. She, along with two of her school friends Kainat and Shazia, were violently attacked as a gunman’s shots hit Yousafzai’s neck and head, and also hit the extremities of Kainat and Shazia. The attack targeted Malala as the girls were riding a bus home from school in October 2012.

Yousafzai, and her friends, all miraculously survived their injuries following the gunman’s violence.

The UN coordinated effort to bring educational opportunities to all girls and children worldwide is now coming on the heels of the final wrap-up of the UN Millennium Goals campaign, which is quickly reaching its culmination in 2014.

Yousafzai’s message clearly conveys her wish that all female students should be given the chance to attend school with adequate safety.

“Thank you so much for giving me the honor of being part of the United Nations,”  said Yousafzai in a one-on-one conversation with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon when he invited Malala, in a Skype call last April, to be part of the new launch for education at the UN. “…I volunteer myself to work for the rights of girls and to work for the rights of every human being. And I’ll work with UN and we’ll all work together. Cause when we work together we can achieve our goal.”

In a recent statement issued before the official launch of the UN educational campaign Yousafzai conveyed that those who recently attacked the girl med-students in Baluchistan were “cowards.”

“The innocent girls who died on Saturday have nothing to do with politics and only wanted to empower themselves through education,” Yousafzai outlined. “Obtaining education is every man and woman’s birth right and no one is allowed to take away this right from them,” she continued.

UN Global Education First Initiative to put every child in school worldwide by improving the quality of learning and by encouraging students everywhere to consider themselves ‘global citizens’ by the end of 2015 is part of the campaign that is highlighted by the new UN petition launch.

Currently 61 Million children are not receiving adequate education worldwide.


From the United Nations on April 5, 2013 – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had a Skype chat with human rights and girls education advocate Malala Yousafzai in Madrid (Spain).


“Mourning the death of Shahnaz Nazli, a courageous teacher shot for wanting to ensure girls have the right to go to school, we call on the President and Government of Pakistan to end the killings and violence that prevent girls’ education and to ensure all girls can go to school. We call for all girls and all teachers to be protected and given security to enable them to enjoy their basic right to be educated,” says the new UN initiative to bring more children than ever to school worldwide.


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