11 December, 2014 - Nobel Prize award overnight a time to remember the other Malalas: Plan

Plan International staff are available for interviews, grabs, etc. Please ring Adam Cathro on 0488 202 945 to arrange.

Malala’s acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize overnight is a time to remember ‘the other Malalas’: the millions of girls across the world who daily face enormous obstacles simply to attend school and secure an all-important quality education, says child rights organisation Plan International Australia.

Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Prize in Stockholm overnight for her tireless campaigning for girls’ education. Her stand saw her shot in the face and critically injured by a Taliban gunman in October 2012 in her native Pakistan.

“Globally, there are 62 million girls still out of school, with one in five adolescent girls around the world denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, discrimination and violence. These are the other Malalas,” says Ian Wishart, CEO of Plan International Australia.

“We are thrilled to see Malala accepting the Nobel Prize for her bravery and her dedication to fighting for girls the world over to attend school and secure an education. We believe her Nobel Prize is a significant step forward for the campaign on girls’ rights and education,” Wishart says.

Through its Because I am a Girl campaign, Plan is calling upon nations like Australia to urgently prioritise quality education for girls as an essential factor in tackling crippling poverty.

“We hope that Malala’s story will serve as a wake-up call to governments across the world, and we are encouraging people to support girls’ education just as Malala is doing,” Wishart says.

“Malala’s story has struck a chord with millions of people and she has become a beacon of inspiration to millions. This is an extraordinary, courageous young woman who, when faced with death, refused to give up and refused to be silenced and we congratulate her on winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize,” he adds.

“Malala is a true heroine to us all. Together, we must ensure that every girl and boy is able to take their rightful place in the classroom and start their personal journeys to learning and development.”

Earlier this year, Plan led a delegation of two dozen girls and young women aged between 14 and 26 to Canberra to meet Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and present her with a declaration of measures they believe will lead to a better and more equitable world for girls. These measures included ensuring universal and global access to quality education.

Plan International has produced a short film celebrating Malala’s Nobel Prize and the campaign for girls’ education. More than 40 girls from 12 countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Paraguay, Ethiopia, Zambia, Rwanda, Brazil, El Salvador and the Philippines, voice one of Malala’s famous speeches calling for education for all girls all over the world.

To watch and download a broadcast-quality version of the film, go to: bit.ly/othermalala. Please credit ‘Plan International Australia’.

Plan International Australia has also produced a short film vividly comparing the education of girls in Australia and Pakistan. View the film on YouTube here: bit.ly/righttoeducation.

Editors’ notes:
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 75 years ago, working in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious or political affiliations.

Because I am a Girl is Plan's campaign to fight gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty. Find out more at becauseiamagirl.com.au

Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International in Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945