“If I had an ordinary father — an ordinary mother, then I would have two children now.”
This insightful quote is taken from He Named Me Malala, a new documentary film that tells the inspirational story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager turned Nobel laureate who was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for girls’ right to education. Malala miraculously survived the attack and is now a global celebrity and leading campaigner for girls’ education who has addressed the United Nations.
How different might Malala’s story have been if, like millions of other girls her age, she had been prevented from going to school or forced into an early marriage or had become pregnant due to a lack of adequate family planning services?
Simon Ross, the chief executive of Population Matters, said, “Malala’s story highlights the challenges that girls around the world face and the importance of education and avoiding adolescent pregnancy to improving girls’ lives.”
Education for girls can have far-reaching positive effects on society by helping to bring about lower fertility rates and reduced population growth. Such education is vital for global sustainability because population growth strains natural resources, hinders poverty reduction efforts, contributes to environmental degradation and has other deleterious effects.
To support Malala and her fight to get education for the approximately 60 million girls who are out of school globally, you can support her foundation, the Malala Fund.