"Dear brothers and sisters, do remember one thing: Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.
Dear Friends, on the 9th of October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed. The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. My dreams are the same.
The wise saying ‘the pen is mightier than sword’ was true. The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them. Through hate-filled actions, extremists have shown what frightens them the most: a girl with a book.
Peace is necessary for education. In many parts of the world, terrorism, wars and conflicts stop children to go to their schools. We are really tired of these wars. There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But, this time, we will do it by ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women’s rights. Rather, I am focusing on women to be independent to fight for themselves.
Today we call upon all communities to be tolerant – to reject prejudice based on caste, creed, sect, religion or gender. 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 realise their full potential.
Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.
We must not forget that our sisters and brothers are waiting for a bright peaceful future.”