Can you remember your 16th birthday? I think mine involved agonising over what to wear, friends, loud music and trying to sneak rum into my diet Coke. What it definitely didn’t involve was addressing the UN Secretary-General with a set of demands to address the global education emergency. Which is exactly what Malala Yousafazi is doing today.
Malala’s story has shocked and inspired the world in equal measure. Less than a year ago, she was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out in her home country of Pakistan about the right for girls to go to school.
57 million children around the world don’t have access to education, and 60% of these are girls. We’ve made incredible progress in reducing this number from over 100 million back in 1999, and in many developing countries equal numbers of boys and girls are starting primary school. But a final push is needed to make sure the hardest to reach children are given the same start in life.
Today, Malala will deliver a set of demands, written by youth for youth, which call on the United Nations and world leaders to keep their promise and ensure every child has access to education by 2015.