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Malala Honored At Clinton Global Citizen Awards

  • RFE/RL

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old education activist from Pakistan, was one of seven people honored at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards ceremony in New York on September 26.

Malala, who was shot in the head last year by the Taliban for speaking out about the need for education for girls, delivered a speech asking governments to work for peace.

"I hope that governments and all responsible people will realize that we cannot end war with a war," she said. "We can fight war. We can fight war through dialogue, peace, and education."

Malala -- who was recognized for "leadership in civil society" -- called for exchanging the exports that breed war with materials that promote enlightenment.

"We ask the governments and the responsible people: If you want to see peace in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, if you want to end the war, if you want to fight against the war, then instead of sending guns, send books," she said. "Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers."

She also spoke out for women's rights in countries where they are marginalized.

"Women are not even accepted as human beings, they are treated with injustice and inequality," she said. "Women are denied, they are neglected even in the developed countries, where they are not given the opportunities to move forward and be what they want. Even in America, even in America, people are waiting for a woman president."

The last comment drew smiles from the audience, since former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was present.

Clinton has been widely mentioned as a possible candidate from the Democratic Party in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Clinton Global Citizen Awards, launched in 2007 by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, honor outstanding individuals for visionary leadership, demonstrated impact, and sustainable work in solving global issues.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP