November 14, 2013
Malala Yousefzai to become an Honorary Canadian Citizen
In his October 16th 2013 Speech from the Throne, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced that 16 year old women’s rights and education activist Malala Yousefzai will receive honorary Canadian citizenship.
She will be the 6th person ever to receive this honour. Previous recipients are Raoul Wallenberg (1985), Nelson Mandela (2001), the Dalai Lama (2006), Aung San Suu Kyi (2007), and Aga Khan (2011).
Malala Yousefzai wrote a blog for the BBC as an 11 year old child activist (2009) about her life under Taliban control in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, and recorded her thoughts and ideas about education for girls. She survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2011, being shot in the head and neck while riding a school bus.
Yousefzai is the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (2013) and has received a number of other prestigious accolades for her on-going activism on education and issues facing women and girls.
In last month’s Throne Speech the Governor General stated:
“Canada recognizes the courageous and inspiring example set by Malala Yousafzai in risking her life promoting education for young women. She faced down evil and oppression and now speaks boldly for those who are silenced. Recognizing her heroism, our Government will, on behalf of all Canadians, bestow honorary citizenship on this remarkable young woman.”
The Speech calls Canadian citizenship “a pledge of mutual responsibility and shared commitment to values”. Honorary Canadian citizenship will allow the Government of Canada to advocate on Malala Yousefzai’s behalf anywhere in the world she needs to go to carry out her work for girls and education.
The Speech from the Throne can be viewed in its entirety at:
Click here for more information about Canadian Citizenship