‘I wanted to be a doc­tornow it’s PM’

Malala on her dream to lead Pak­istan

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @Sar­watNasir sar­wat@7days.ae

Malala Yousafzai has said she aims to be prime min­is­ter of Pak­istan one day.

The 19-year-old said she has put aside her ambition to be­come a doc­tor and hopes to lead her coun­try to en­sure women are not de­nied an ed­u­ca­tion.

The women’s rights cam­paigner was speak­ing to an au­di­ence at the In­vest­ing in the Fu­ture con­fer­ence in Shar­jah yes­ter­day.

Yousafzai said: “We need to in­spire women to be be­yond lim­its and in order to do that we need women’s em­pow­er­ment.

“In grade four, I re­mem­ber I could only think of women as doc­tors, teach­ers or housewives and noth­ing else.

“But when I saw women role mod­els that broad­ened my vi­sion. I saw Be­nazir Bhutto, women artists, en­trepreneurs – and it al­lowed me to see the potential of what women can achieve.”

She added: “My dream quickly changed from be­com­ing a doc­tor to be­com­ing the prime min­is­ter of Pak­istan and fix­ing all of the is­sues and bring­ing ed­u­ca­tion.

“Right now, my dream is to spread a global move­ment for girls’ ed­u­ca­tion.”

The No­bel Peace Prize win­ner was a key­note speaker at the con­fer­ence, where she touched on top­ics such as ending child mar­riage and on the im­por­tance of in­vest­ing in the ed­u­ca­tion of girls. Malala made global head­lines when she By Sar­wat Nasir was shot in the head by the Tal­iban in Pak­istan for dar­ing to demand that young girls be al­lowed to go to school.

Since then, she won the No­bel Peace Prize at the age of 17 and has trav­elled the globe in­spir­ing young women.

She also spoke mov­ingly of the young peo­ple she has met on her jour­ney. She re­called a story of a Bu­rundi refugee she had met in Rwanda who had been a vic­tim of sex­ual abuse.

She said: “She stood up to share her story – that these wars, cre­ated mainly by men, had dis­placed them.

“It made them home­less, but worse, they have be­come a vic­tim of vi­o­lence and sex­ual abuse.

“We all burst into tears when she said she and her friend were vic­tims of sex­ual abuse and she had be­come a mother when she was still in school.

“But at the end, she gave a message to men. She said men need to re­spect women be­cause we are half of the pop­u­la­tion, but we are also half of the pop­u­la­tion that gave birth to you. That is why I be­lieve men’s con­tri­bu­tion is cru­cial.” – Malala speak­ing in Shar­jah We need to in­spire women to be be­yond their lim­its and in order to do that we need women’s em­pow­er­ment’

IN­SPI­RA­TION: Malala was sur­rounded by young fans ea­ger to meet her and have pic­tures taken

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