On Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon declared Novermber 10th as "Malala Day", urging citizens across the world to support the Pakistani girl shot after advocating for education.
In a radio announcement, Ban Ki-Moon said:
"I am adding my voice to the messages from over 1 million people across the globe. Education is a fundamental human right. It is a pathway to development, tolerance and global citizenship. Join us in our campaign to put education first – for Malala and girls and boys throughout the world."
Last month, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot by members of the Taliban as she rode her school bus in Mingora Pakistan. When the gunmen boarded the bus, they asked for Malala by name before opening fire. Malala somehow managed to survive the brutal attack and is recovering in a U.K. hospital. She first gained fame after posting a blog for the BBC which detailed life in Swat under the Taliban and was considered by many as a political and human rights activist.
Malala Yousafzai recovers in a UK hospital with her family by her side.
Malala Day is being celebrated in Pakistan and around the world. On Friday, Pakistan's president, Asif Zardari, added his signature to petitions urging the country to pay stipends to families who put their girls in school. Demonstrations were held in Islamabad to show support for Malala. Pakistani Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, saluted Malala's courage. On Saturday, students in Karachi gathered in support of Malala. At Khushhal Public School, the school Malala was attending, students and faculty held a vigil inside the school. The school principal, Mariam Khalid, told AFP:
“We held a special prayer for Malala today in our school assembly and also lit candles. We did not organize any open event because our school and its students still face a security threat.”
In the U.K., Shahida Choudhary started a petition urging Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior members of the British government to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. The petition has received 30,000 signatures thus far.
People around the world observe Malala Day
A similar effort has begun in the United States. A Change.org petition states:
"On October 9, 2012, Malala Yousafzai was gunned down for the “crime” of going to school. Today the world stands with this remarkable girl, a girl so brave she stood up to the Taliban, a group so evil they stalk and murder innocent children for the “sin” of seeking education."
It goes on to ask U.S. Secretary of State Clinton and Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to nominate Malala Yousafzai for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The Malala Day Facebook page already has 322 followers in less than 12 hours. Photos and well wishes from people around the world have already filled the page.
Former U.K. Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, told the Huffington Post:
"The right to education is denied to 61 million children of primary school age around the world. Girls, boys, the marginalized, rural children, child laborers -- the hopes of these 61 million are represented by the struggle and voice of Malala. November 10th is our opportunity to continue to speak out in support of Malala's vision of every child in school, learning and reaching their full potential."
Gordon also announced that an institute supported by the Good Planet Foundation will be named The Malala Yousafzai Children's Education Institute. The institute will publish research reports "leading the fight for education for every child still denied the right to school."