The film showcased the story of Malala Yousafzai before her assassination attempt and her growth following her global activism. The DC Pakistani diaspora slowly trickled into the theater: families, students, embassy representatives, Mid-Atlantic board members and more to learn more about girls’ rights in South Asia and how to make a global impact locally. The film opened to an eager audience showcasing the life of Malala and her effect not just globally, but also in her immediate community.
After the film, guests were given a moment to let the movie and Malala’s words sink in. She is more than a girl fighting for other girls. She is more than a face. Malala Yousafzai is one of many young girls scattered across the globe fighting for their right to learn, fighting for their right to thrive.
Mark Engman, Director of the Office of Public Policy and Advocacy for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF moderated a panel of a girls’ rights activists: Nuzhat Shahzadi, UNICEF consultant and Bethany Ellis, Research Assistant for A World at School. Speaking on girls’ right to education in South Asia, both panelists reminded the audience that change starts at home. It starts with the child, it starts with the parents. It’s amplifying the voices of a vulnerable group and helping their message be heard.
As Malala says “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” UNICEF is working alongside community members to do just that.