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Malala Yousafzai talks gender inequality

Rousing welcome in Liverpool for teen who survived Taliban bullet

Published on July 25th 2014.

Malala Yousafzai talks gender inequality

THE "world's most famous teenager" Malala Yousafzai, delivered what has been described as a rousing speech to a packed BT Convention Centre in Liverpool yesterday (24th July) for World Merit Day, the ‘What Matters?’ Conference and Concert.

With a dedication to raising awareness and campaigning for equal education rights for all, the 17-year-old also took the opportunity to appeal for gender equality.

“Education can be the change. In the past, the Masai tribe would make men warriors if they killed a lion. Thanks to changed minds and cultures, when a boy or girl in the Masai tribe gets a degree or an education, they then become Masai warriors. Change in our culture can happen thanks to education.”

Yousafzai, who two years ago survived a bullet to the brain in a Talban assassination in Pakistan, was joined on stage for an informal Q&A session with Sir Ken Robinson, international advisor of education in the arts. 


The Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who now lives in Birmingham, revealed her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, the United Nations special advisor on global education, was a huge fan of Sir Ken’s work and an avid viewer of his TED talk, the most watched TED in history - ‘How schools kill creativity’.  

She went on to say: “I have this concept that I think people consider women to be weaker than men when looking at their bodies. We don’t have big muscles as men have, nor the stronger bodies. But women are strong in their contributions towards society. I believe in equality and justice so men and women should be treated equally.”

TV presenter, motivational speaker and acid attack survivor Katie Piper delivered a speech about courage and resilience. Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group Margaret Aspinall received a standing ovation for her words on the plight of those still fighting for truth and justice after the Hillsborough disaster, 25 years ago.


Malala Yousafzai And Felix FinkbeinerMalala Yousafzai And Felix Finkbeiner

Yousafzai wasn't the only teenager on the bill. Felix Finkbeiner, a 16 year old eco-warrier from Germany, had the crowd on their feet with appreciation for his efforts in the fight against climate change. In the last seven years, his organisation Plant-for-the-Planet has inspired children all over the world to plant over 13 billion trees. His own brand of fair trade confectionary, Change Chocolate, is carbon neutral and has been taken into the International Space Centre by astronauts.

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AnonymousJuly 25th 2014.

Shouldn't teens be doing other things than this? All very laudable and earnest, but they look like they were all denied a childhood and morphed into droning finger wagging bores at 6 years old............sorry an all that, thunder bolt coming my way no doubt:-(

Chris CoventryJuly 25th 2014.

Met Malala yesterday at this World Merit event. She had a great sense of humour and lightness. It seems teenagers don't have to be one dimensional and can do fun and earnest. Even being shot in the head didn't rob Malala of her sense of fun... pretty cool.

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