Malala Yousafzai, daughter of a Pakistani schoolteacher and an advocate for girls’ education from a young age, was shot in 2012 on her way to school by masked Taliban gunmen. She not only survived, but went on to found The Malala Fund, which empowers young women worldwide to seek education and safety, all while continuing her own educational endeavors. In 2013, she spoke at the United Nations to address women’s and girls’ rights:
We call upon all the governments to fight against terrorism and violence, to protect children from brutality and harm. We call upon the developed nations to support the expansion of education opportunities for girls in the developing world. We call upon all the communities to be tolerant, to reject prejudice based on caste, creed, sect, color, religion or agenda, to ensure freedom and equality for women so that they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential.
It's a crime against humanity if a child is deprived of childhood - in my country or any country in the world. Humanity is at stake.
And, all-too-often, forced child labor trafficking goes hand-in-hand with child sex-trafficking, a fact both Satyarthi and Yousafzai have emphasized in their work. As this Nobel Prize recognition highlights, promoting education is one of many valuable steps to help empower women to protect themselves and others from the oppression that accompanies trafficking.