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Malala Yousafzai & Justin Trudeau: Women’s Empowerment

Learn English with Malala Yousafzai & Justin Trudeau’s Speech. During a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the importance of education in empowering women and girls. Malala Yousafzai, commonly known as Malala, is a Pakistani female education activist and the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Her Nobel Prize was awarded at the age of 17, making her the youngest laureate in history, the second Pakistani, and the first Pashtun to receive the honor. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a Canadian politician who is the 23rd and current head of government. Since 2013, he has served as the leader of the Liberal Party and as prime minister of Canada.

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Malala Yousafzai “Quote”

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“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai | FULL TRANSCRIPT:

I think that business sector should definitely invest in the education and empowerment of women. And this is an investment on which the return is very high. The return is high. The profits are high. And the opportunity cost is low. When you invest in a girl, you are contributing to that girl individually. She is going to have a future.

Orit Gadiesh: How do you move to actually change the social dialogue, among other things, around empowerment of women, for example, and not just education? Yes, for Malala.

Malala Yousafzai: Well, I think we do want to see change. And for that, education is the only way that I see for women empowerment. And it’s not the job of one person. Everyone has to play a role in this, whether it’s at government level or business level or NGO level or local activist level. And that is something that I have recognized right from the beginning. And what I personally am doing through Malala Fund is I am empowering and reaching out to local advocates in Pakistan, in Nigeria, in Latin America, in India. And we are empowering them so that they can bring change in their local communities, whether it’s teachers training, whether it’s bringing STEM skills, whether it’s giving e-learning. I’m also focusing on empowering girls because they are the future. I’m giving them a voice so that they can speak out for their rights. They can try to speak out about the issues that they’re facing. So I’m doing that. But then also, governments and presidents and prime ministers, they have a big role in making sure that women can have access to quality education. They can have access to opportunities. And I think some countries are leading in that, and they’re stepping forward, especially Canada, like I’m really looking forward to G7 and the steps that you’ll be taking. We would be excited to hear about those. But I think everyone has to play their role. And I’m also really, I think that business sector should definitely invest in the education and empowerment of women. And this is an investment on which the return is very high. The return is high. The profits are high. And the opportunity cost is low. When you invest in a girl, you are contributing to that girl individually. She is going to have a future. But you’re also impacting the country, the nation. It is helping in economic growth. It helps reduce poverty. It helps us tackle climate change. So it helps us to reduce child labor, child trafficking, early child marriages. So the benefits and the advantages are countless. It is just reminding ourselves that we have to take a step, and that step is investment in education. Donor countries, developing countries, business sector, governments, everyone has to come together and play their role.

Justin Trudeau: On the Global Partnership for Education, which is such an important initiative that, Malala, you’re so involved in, it’s something that’s really exciting. And actually, there’s a bit of synchronicity to it for me, because 16 years ago, at the G8 meeting that Canada was chairing in Kananaskis in Canada, the idea that would become the Global Partnership for Education was actually launched. And what you are doing and what the Global Partnership is doing around the world right now is so meaningful. A few weeks from now in Senegal, there’s going to be an announcement of the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education. And Canada is pleased to announce that we’re going to be pledging $180 million, and we’re actually doubling our yearly contribution to the Global Partnership for Education.

We know that empowering women and girls through education, empowering the developing world through education is an essential pathway towards success. And that’s actually also part of why Canada set forward a feminist international development policy. We know that as we look to have the maximal impact on improving outcomes for people in the developing world, investing in women and girls not only has been done less than is fair or is necessary over the past years, but is the most effective way of making a real and lasting difference. And that’s why we are so excited about the partnership on the Global Fund for Education, Global Partnership for Education. And also, the full circle part is this year we’re hosting the G7. And in many G7s there’s been discussions of gender and it’s important to talk about empowering women and in many different organizations we talk about it and say, okay, what can we do around the empowerment of women? Well, this year we’re taking a different approach on the G7. And instead of making it as a specific and important topic, we’re making it touch everything we do. We’ve pulled together, as I announced a couple of days ago, a council, a G7 women’s council that will be led by Melinda Gates and our ambassador to France, Isabelle Hudon, with many extraordinary women being part of it. And their job is to make sure that everything the G7 does, all the meetings, all the commitments, all the initiatives that we partner in this year and hopefully into the future, have a gender lens. That everything is looked at in terms of how it respects, empowers, enables women to be more successful. And I think that’s something that we have to look at doing in more and more organizations, in more and more things we do as business as usual.

Malala Yousafzai: Well, first of all, I’d like to thank President, Prime Minister Trudeau for your commitment to Global Partnership for Education. And on behalf of 130 million girls, thank you and merci. And thank you so much for your work as well. And I think, yes, investing in science is just so crucial and it applies to all subjects, not just science. Evidence, empirical evidence, data, these are such important things and we shouldn’t take them for granted and we should invest in these. But I hope that as Canada is leading in this, I hope that other countries can also follow this example and they can also make commitment towards girls’ education in Dakar next week. And I hope that one day we will see all girls going to school and getting quality education. So I am really positive and really hopeful. And the education is not just if you look at the figures of how empowering women can contribute to the global economy. Imagine if women are brought into workforce, it could increase the GDP of U.S. by 5 percent, Japan by 9 percent, India by 27 percent. It can lead to the global growth as well in trillions of dollars. So the outcomes and the benefits are countless. And I think for that, again, investing in women, investing in girls’ education is just so crucial.

Orit Gadiesh: Let me just continue with that. Because one of the things, you talked about India and some of the developing world where the potential is even more enormous than perhaps some of the developed world. But a lot of those things that are blocking them are really social and culture. And how much in your work do you see the ability or the beginning of the changing? Because otherwise a lot of people will be left behind if we don’t bring up our cultures and our values along with that.

Malala Yousafzai: So I always have that in mind, and that is why we are working with local partners, local activists, because we know the culture. We know that if there’s an NGO based in a Western country coming and working in Lebanon or Afghanistan, it can be a challenge. That is why my approach is that we work with local activists. We support them because they know the problems and they know the solutions. They know how to best solve those problems. So in Afghanistan there is a challenge that there are not enough women teachers for girls. That is why parents don’t send their girls to school because they are afraid that they don’t want male teachers to be teaching their girls. So that’s why we are supporting a teacher’s training, women teacher’s training. In Lebanon we are supporting tech education and e-learning. And recently I visited that project. I went to Lebanon, I think it was on Saturday, so I’ve been quite busy and traveling. I hope the university is kind to me and excuses me.

Justin Trudeau: I can write you a note if you want.

Malala Yousafzai: Yeah, we have made an agreement. That’s why I’m here. But I hope that, like I’m giving up my days of school because I want to highlight that the education of women and girls is just so important. I was in Lebanon and we were in this gathering of around 12 girls and they were all Syrian refugee girls and I asked girls the question that what do they want to be in future. And one girl said she wants to be an architect and I asked why. And that girl said that she wants to be an architect because on the day that she left Syria she saw her country destroyed and devastated. And that day she decided that she would become an architect so one day she can rebuild her country. So this is the passion that I see among these girls that gives me courage to continue on fighting for girls’ education. And when you meet these girls, whether they are in Mexico, whether they are in Nigeria, in Lebanon, in Afghanistan, these girls are so passionate about learning, about going to school, about getting their education because they know that that is how they can get their future because they know that that is how they are going to get empowered. So the empowerment of girls is only possible through quality education and we have to keep on pushing for this. And I hope as Canada is taking steps that other countries will follow and they will take action.“[/read]

Malala Yousafzai

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