Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel prize winner, child and women’s rights activist and the inspiration for a film, thinks that she is just a normal girl and is doing what is the “responsibility” of all.
“I am just a normal girl and I am doing what is the responsibility of all us which is to stand for what is right in your society and to stand against injustices,” the Pakistani activist told news channel India Today in an interview.
Malala, who survived an assassination attempt on her by the Taliban, has since become one of the most famous teenagers in the world.
“I cannot tolerate women being denied the right to have an identity and girls being denied the right to have an education. That is what I am standing for and I think this is the right thing we all should do,” she said.
Yousafzai along with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi was the recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the rights of all children to education. She received the prize when she was 17.
Asked whether it was difficult for her to be famous, Malala said: “You are right, it is a bit hard. People do ask for pictures. But it is an honour, if someone loves you and really takes care of you. I feel honoured that people take care of me and they are supporting me.”
“In order to fight the power of extremism, terrorism, we have to empower our young generation through education. The weapons that we need are our books and pens and our voice that is the most important thing,” she said.
Questioned about the Taliban and targeting of children, Malala said: “It is a matter of horror and sadness that children have been targeted. This is unimaginable. It is sad that the politicians only grieve for few days but do nothing. We hope something is done. Hope safety is ensured to everyone.”
She said there is a need for a strong leadership in her country. “I also believe that all leaders need to do something. Why are they silent if terrorism is happening in Swat Valley. Why are they silent if girls are denied education or women are flogged on the streets.”
“Where are our leaders? And that really motivated me to become a leader for my country but as I am turning 18, I realise that there are more ways to bring change in society. So it is not a final decision yet. But I do feel there is a need for strong leadership.”