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Leading women

Malala Day: Women’s education across the globe


On 12 July 2013, Malala Yousafzai gave a powerful speech at the UN on her 16th birthday – her first public speech since being attacked by the Taliban the previous year. Speaking of the vital importance of education in combating hatred and extremism, she focused particularly on women’s rights and girls’ education: ‘We call upon all communities…to ensure freedom and equality for women so that they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.’ In 2014, the UN officially named 12 July ‘Malala Day’ in her honour.

Malala Yousafzai

Created for the 2018 Women of the World Festival, this short animation from the University of London Worldwide explores factors affecting women’s access to education, and celebrates the achievements of the University’s women students around the globe. Spread across 180 countries from Pakistan to Peru, and studying subjects from Law to Computing and Information Systems, these women have since gone onto careers as lawyers, IT technicians and many other professions.

This Malala Day, we remember the importance of women’s education, and Malala Yousafzai’s call for education for all: ‘Let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.’