Ziauddin Yousafzai Talks Education at Schwab Auditorium

Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Pakistani Nobel Prize recipient and human rights activist Malala, delivered a presentation on the importance of education at the Schwab Auditorium last night.

Yousafzai is an educational activist and UN Special Advisor on Global Education. His daughter, Malala, is well known for her protests against the Taliban in an effort to improve access to education for Pakistani girls. The well-attended event was sponsored by the Student Programming Association (SPA) and focused on Yousafzai’s international perspective on the accessibility of education.

“For me, education is something that transforms individuals, that molds societies, and makes nations,” Yousafzai said.

Yousafzai, a teacher himself, spoke at length at about his childhood in Pakinstan and the lack of educational opportunities given to children there. He also spoke about the pressure to conform to Pakistani tradition, which generally does not encourage girls to get an education. Yousafzai gave a TED talk last year discussing equal rights for women.

“Almost everybody in patriarchal societies are known by their sons, and I am one of the few who are known by his daughter, and I am proud of that,” Yousfzai said.

In October 2012, Malala survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, who wanted to stop her campaign to achieve access to education for women in Swat Valley. Since the attack, she has become a prominent voice for women’s education.

“Your voice is the most powerful when it comes to your rights,” Yousafzai said in reference to Malala. “People tried to silence her locally… but now her voice is global.”

Yousafzai finished with the presentation with a quote from his daughter.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world,” Yousafzai said.

The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session with students. In his answers, Yousafzai encouraged students to become leaders for change.

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Sarah Caskie

Sarah is a senior majoring in Journalism. She can usually be found at Saint’s looking up cat videos, or writing about music and stuff. She can be reached on Twitter at @classycaskie or via email at [email protected]

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