4. 90-second Statements

Part of the debate – in the Senedd at 3:21 pm on 13 July 2022.

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Photo of Altaf Hussain Altaf Hussain Conservative 3:21, 13 July 2022

'One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.'

These are the words of Malala Yousafzai, a truly inspirational young woman, born on 12 July 1997 in the Swat valley in Pakistan. When she was just 11 years old the Taleban took over her village and closed her school. She decided, even at that young age, that she would not give up her education without a fight. She spoke out publicly on behalf of girls and their right to learn. And she was shot in the head for her efforts. But thanks to the UK Government and a team of medics in Birmingham, Malala survived and continued to speak up for gender equality from her new home here in Britain.

Our daughters and granddaughters thankfully do not face the same challenges that confronted Malala, or confront 130 million girls around the world today, but thanks to inspirational young women like Malala, they can look forward to a brighter, more equal future. So, a happy—if slightly belated—birthday, Malala, and thank you for all you continue to do to make our world a better place. Thank you.