Malala Yousafzai is not even out of her teens, and she is going from strength to strength in her quest for peace. In the latest development, she has been chosen as a UN Messenger of Peace, joining the ranks of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall, Paulo Coelho and Charlize Theron. She will have a special focus on girls' education.
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Malala shot to the centre of the world's attention by surviving a murder attempt in 2012 by Taliban militants in Pakistan who wanted to kill her because she was campaigning for girl child's education. Her recovery was closely followed by the world, and she did not disappoint. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, making her the youngest to receive the award. She even has an asteroid named after her!
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The UN describes its Messengers of Peace as "distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations."
Malala will officially become a Messenger of Peace on Monday, April 10. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has been quoted in a statement as saying about her: "Even in the face of grave danger, Malala Yousafzai has shown an unwavering commitment to the rights of women, girls and all people."
He added: "Her courageous activism for girls' education has already energized so many people around the world. Now as our youngest-ever UN Messenger of Peace, Malala can do even more to help create a more just and peaceful world."
Her focus on girl child's education is expected to ensure that awareness on the topic is spread in several parts of the world — including large tracts of Africa and Asia — where young girls have often been kept away from school and made to assist in domestic chores so that they can grow up to be good wives.