“Issues related to women are global, they are not limited to any specific country or to any particular society. So men have to play a role in this and they should come out and work with the community leaders for educating girls at least up to twelve years of compulsory education. if my father had not allowed me to speak out, I would not have been allowed to come here and speak here and be who I am today”, said Malala Yousafzai, while speaking at a reception hosted by Tariq Azim khan, high commissioner of Pakistan to Canada, here today.


She said, “Although my country Pakistan is making steady progress in education and women emancipation but we need to put together all our efforts to deal with the forces which are against girls’ education”.


She urged Canadians to open their hearts for refugees as they flee oppression in their own countries. She appealed the international community to open their doors for Syrian refugees and for all those people who leave their homes in search for peace.


“It is the spirit of humanity that every single one of us would yearn for if our family was in crisis. i pray that you continue to open your homes, your hearts, to the world’s most defenceless children and families and I hope your neighbours will follow your example”, she added.


In his welcome address, the high commissioner said that Malala Yousafzai’s courage and fearless attitude has no parallel in the recent history. “Her desire and commitment for seeking knowledge and getting education has changed not only her destiny but also of every girl in the world”, he said. The high commissioner stated that our religion Islam also emphasises on Iqra which means “read” which is the constitutional right of the every citizen of Pakistan.


He informed the gathering that educational reform program of the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has yielded positive results and the latest statistics showed that the number of out of school children had fallen by three million in the past three years.


He added that government is embarking on investment to build more schools, rehabilitate others, set up health screenings and skills-training programs and fund college scholarships for girls.

“The challenge was a big one and of course much more needed to be done especially taking education to the most marginalised children and youth and training local teachers to build community resilience”, he concluded.


A large number of federal ministers, parliamentary secretaries, members of Canadian parliament, members of diplomatic corps, government officials, media persons, think tank officials and notable members of the community attended the reception.