The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
“Deprived children do not need play stations and other gadgets, but a book and a pen”. That was the plea from Malala today (20 November) as she addressed the European Parliament following her award of this year’s “Sakharov Prize” for freedom of thought. She now campaigns for girls as well as boys in Pakistan and other poor countries to receive a good basic education.
Local Conservative MEP, Geoffrey Van Orden, who was among those that nominated Malala for the Sakharov Prize, commented:
"It was very moving to see this very self-confident 16-year old addressing the European Parliament. She had previously remarked that 'she did not want to be remembered as the girl who was shot by the Taliban but as the girl who fought for education'. In excellent English she called for an end to intolerance, violence and poverty and the right of all children in Pakistan and other countries to a good basic education.
"The importance of support from a strong family was emphasised. Her father, who was among the first to speak out against discrimination against girls, gave her every encouragement. He was quoted as saying 'I did not clip her wings – I wanted her to fly'.
"Malala's courage, humility and clear intelligence were the strongest possible encouragement for focus on genuine human rights."