Malala Yousafzai Speaks to Women in Nigeria
Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, was greeted with applause by the women in Maiduguri, in Northeast Nigeria, on Tuesday.
Malala is visiting Nigeria as part of her ‘girl power’ tour. The 20-year-old said that she has visited many parts of the world, speaking to women and girls in about their rights and about education.
Malala spoke out against the violent insurgency of Boko Haram in the country, and the hundreds of girls they have abducted. She met with over 100 of the freed Chibok girls who were abducted by the terrorist group in 2014.
“The government must unite so that they should make sure that these girls are released…Boko Haram themselves should learn that in Islam, such things are unacceptable…This is against humanity, this is against Islam [sic],” she added.
Malala, who was accompanied by her father, visited camps for those who have been displaced by Boko Haram.
Many of the girls at the camps said that Malala’s own story of resistance and perseverance inspired them.
“Her story give us hope, that’s why we too want to go to school and become something in life [sic],” one 15-year-old girl told reporters.
Malala also met with acting Nigerian president, Yemi Osinbajo, where she reportedly pressed Osinbajo to declare a state of emergency for education in the country.
According to the United Nations, over 1400 schools have been destroyed and 2295 teachers killed since the Boko Haram insurgency, which started in 2009.
This has left millions of children without education.
Malala urged the international community to address the various humanitarian crises in the country, and to unite to bring aid and relief to Nigeria.
Malala has been a symbol of freedom of education ever since she was shot in the head when she was 15 years old by Taliban militants, who targeted her because of her advocacy for women’s education.
Image credit: Malala Yousafzai in Nigeria (2017) [online image] sourced on 19 July 2017 at http://www.680news.com/2017/07/18/nobel-winner-malala-in-nigeria-speaks-out-against-boko-haram/