Malala answers Topical Talk questions!

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To celebrate International Women's Day, activist Malala Yousafzai joined Zanny Minton Beddoes, The Economist’s editor-in-chief, for a conversation. It was fantastic to hear Malala's thoughts on women's rights and education. It was even more special because she answered three questions from Topical Talkers! Check out some of her answers below.

If you're a Topical Talk Student Hub member you can watch the whole interview to hear her full answers - find the link in the purple box on your profile!

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

tenacious_honeydew | Dr. Nazih El Bizri High School | Lebanon

I don't give advice to my younger self because she's always better. I feel like because I think when we are young, you know, when we are still children, we have the courage. We are brave. We believe in in any change. We believe in ourselves. And I think that it's with time. It's what we hear from others, what we see, what we face on media, what we what we face in our environment, that we lose hope that we get discouraged. So I always look back to my younger self and I ask her for advice, and she tells me to believe in myself and keep going. It was a 13 year old, 12 year old Malala who believe that we can educate all girls all around the world. So I take that message with me from home and keep going.

Did you get support in the beginning from someone who stood with you and encouraged you and who was this person or institution?

unassuming_tamarillo | Beit Hanoun Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory

I got support from a few people. I always give the example of my father. When I started speaking out, he stood with me. Basically, he was the he was the activist in the community who would speak out for women's rights and girls education. And I followed his footsteps. And I always remind people that there is nothing special about my story. There's nothing special about me. It could have been any girl from SWAT Valley who could have spoken out. The only thing that's different in my story is that my father did not stop me. There were so many girls who could have been the future Malala or Kinard saw, you know, but if their brothers and their fathers had not stopped them. And I think this is true for so many women around the world. We need to ensure that, as my father says, we do not clip their wings. We must ensure that women can fly, that we give them the room in the space that they need to do to thrive in their life. So support is very much needed.

Is there something you tell yourself or other people when you’re upset or angry to help them move on or feel better?

Hazel | Ravensthorpe Primary School | United Kingdom

I don't get angry. I can get frustrated sometimes because I feel like not enough is being done and it is taking too long and I still don't have an answer to that... We have we are surrounded by information on TVs, on our digital devices, on our mobile screens. I think the challenge for the future is how do we process, analyse and evaluate that information? There's not a shortage of information. We have the issue of fake news misinformation. So quality education is urgent. It is important. It is important for peace and stability. It is important for democracy. It is important for making informed decisions, and it is important for our own empowerment and in self-care as well. So I would just push for education even more when I get frustrated.


What do you think?

  • Which of Malala's answers do you agree with the most?
  • Is there anything you disagree with or think differently about?
  • Who supports you? What do you do when angry or frustrated? What advice would you give your younger self?

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