Stand with Malala

On 25 September 2013, an attendee at the High-Level Leadership Panel during the Global Education First Initiative Anniversary celebration event ‘Delivering on the Global Education Promise’ takes a photograph of education activist Malala Yousafzai of Pakis
Malala Yousafzai

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In 2012, Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old girl from Swat, Pakistan, was shot along with two other children as she was leaving school by bus. Now living in the U.K., Malala is back in the classroom and speaking out for the millions of Pakistani girls who are desperate to go to school.

Malala was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of girls education and child rights. She is the youngest ever recipient of the award. UNICEF applauds Malala's incredible spirit and inspiring courage.


Millions of Children Denied the Right to an Education

Globally, an estimated 57 million primary school-age children are not in school. In many parts of the world, girls are less likely to enroll than boys. In some areas of Pakistan, only one out of every five children in schools is a girl.

Some girls live in areas where there are no schools, or the enrollment fees are cost-prohibitive. In some cases, when parents can only afford to send one child to school, sons are favored over daughters. In other cases, girls are routinely discriminated against—denied an education due to their gender.

UNICEF’s mandate to serve the most marginalized populations focuses special attention on girls — providing outreach to identify at-risk girls and get them into school, supporting governments and communities in improving access for those children who are hardest to reach or suffer most from discrimination, and delivering programs to eliminate cultural, social and economic barriers to girls’ education.

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