Malala Yousafzai to Taliban: ‘You made girlhood illegal but now even boys…’ | World News - Hindustan Times
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Malala Yousafzai to Taliban: ‘You made girlhood illegal but now even boys…’

Dec 06, 2023 10:53 PM IST

Malala Yousafzai likened Taliban's treatment of women to apartheid.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai compared restrictions that the Taliban has placed on women in Afghanistan to the treatment of Black people under apartheid. Speaking during the 21st Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg, Malala Yousafzai said, “If you are a girl in Afghanistan, the Taliban has decided your future for you. You cannot attend a secondary school or university. You cannot find an open library where you can read. You see your mothers and your older sisters confined and constrained,”

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai speaks during the 21st Nelson Mandela Annual Peace Lecture.(Reuters)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai speaks during the 21st Nelson Mandela Annual Peace Lecture.(Reuters)

Malala Yousafzai survived being shot in the head when she was 15 in Pakistan by a gunman after campaigning against the Pakistani Taliban's moves to deny girls education. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

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Taliban's actions should be considered "gender apartheid" and that it had “in effect ... made girlhood illegal”, she said, asserting that international actors should not normalise relations with the Taliban.

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Since returning to power in 2021, the Taliban has stopped most Afghan female staff from working at aid agencies, closed beauty salons, barred women from parks and curtailed travel for women without a male guardian.

Malala Yousafzai said she was concerned the Taliban would take away sciences and critical thinking even from boys.

"It's so important for the international community to not only step up to protect access to education for girls but also ensure that it is quality education, it is not indoctrination," she said. On Israel's war in Gaza, she said that she wanted to see an immediate ceasefire so that children could return to school and normal lives.

“We look at wars, ... especially the bombardment that has happened in Gaza, ... that has just taken that normal life away from children,” she said.

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