PAKISTAN: Men should not clip the “wings of women and let them fly,” Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai said as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres designated her as the youngest-ever ‘Messenger of Peace’.
“The role of men, fathers and brothers is really important.
There were so many girls just like me in Swat Valley who could have spoken out but their fathers did not allow them, their brothers did not allow them to do so,” the 19-year-old Pakistani education activist said. She said her case was different as her father did not stop her, Malala said during a ceremony here on Monday to designate her as the UN Messenger of Peace, the highest honour bestowed by the Secretary-General on a global citizen.
“... All I had was a father and a family who said ‘yes you can speak. It is your choice’. I think that is what we need.
We need brothers and fathers and all men in the family to let women be who they want to be.”
She said her father always told people not to ask him what he did for Malala, ‘but ask what I didn’t do? I didn’t clip her wings.’
“Men should not clip the wings of women and let them fly and let them go forward,” Yousafzai said, as her father Ziauddin Yousafzai sat in the audience and watched her.
Yousafzai, who was shot in 2012 by the Taliban for attending classes, is the youngest-ever UN Messenger of Peace and the first one to be designated by Guterres since he assumed office in January this year.
With the designation, Yousafzai joins other current Messengers of Peace including Oscar-winning actor Leonardo di Caprio for climate change, actor Charlize Theron, whose focus is the prevention of HIV and elimination of violence against women and actor Michael Douglas whose focus is disarmament. - DECCAN CHRONICLE