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Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai urges world to confront Taliban’s ‘gender apartheid’ in opposition to girls

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JOHANNESBURG — Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai stated Tuesday that the world wants to acknowledge and confront the “gender apartheid” in opposition to girls and women imposed by the Taliban since they seized energy in Afghanistan greater than two years in the past.

She urged the worldwide group to take collective and pressing motion to finish the “darkish days” in Afghanistan. Yousafzai was awarded the peace prize in 2014 on the age of 17 for her struggle for women’ schooling in her house nation, Pakistan. She is the youngest Nobel laureate.

Two years earlier, she survived an assassination try by the Pakistani Taliban — a separate militant group however an ally of the Afghan Taliban — when she was shot within the head on a bus after faculty.

The 26-year-old activist spoke to The Related Press after delivering the annual Nelson Mandela lecture in Johannesburg on the tenth anniversary of the dying of South Africa’s anti-apartheid chief and Nobel laureate.

Yousafzai can be the youngest particular person to present the lecture, following within the footsteps of previous lecturers, together with former President Barack Obama, U.N. Secretary-Basic António Guterres and philanthropist and Microsoft founder Invoice Gates.

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She devoted her speech to Afghan girls and women, hoping to re-focus the world’s consideration on their oppression amid the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

“It took a bullet to my head for the world to face with me,” she stated. “What is going to it take for the world to face with women in Afghanistan?”

Since their takeover, the Taliban have banned schooling for women past the sixth grade and imposed extreme restrictions on girls, barring them from work and most public areas and searching for to implement their strict interpretation of Islamic regulation, or Sharia.

“Afghanistan has solely seen darkish days after it fell to the Taliban,” Yousafzai stated within the AP interview. “It has been two and half years and most ladies haven’t seen faculty once more.”

Yousafzai appealed to the United Nations to “acknowledge the present state of Afghanistan as a gender apartheid” and cited latest experiences of “girls being detained, put into prisons and crushed and even put into compelled marriages.”

“Two and a half years is a really very long time,” Yousafzai stated and added that it may value a lady her future.

Yousafzai additionally described as “heartbreaking” Islamabad’s new coverage of forceful deportations of Afghans who’re in Pakistan illegally, saying that deporting them would put the lives of ladies and women who’re compelled to return in danger.

She additionally referred to as for an instantaneous cease-fire within the Israel-Hamas struggle and decried that “so many kids’s and girls’s lives (have been) misplaced” in besieged Gaza.

The struggle — sparked by the militant Hamas group’s unprecedented Oct. 7 assault that killed about 1,200 individuals in Israel — has up to now killed greater than 15,890 individuals in Gaza, nearly all of them girls and youngsters, based on the Hamas-run territory’s Well being Ministry, which doesn’t differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths.

Yousafzai stated the world should maintain accountable these on either side who’ve violated worldwide regulation and dedicated struggle crimes.

“We have to make it possible for we at all times are on the aspect of the harmless individuals,” she stated. “And we’re advocating for shielding them and we’re advocating for stopping extra wars and conflicts.”

Yousafzai praised the awarding of this yr’s Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian girls’s rights and pro-democracy activist Narges Mohammadi, who stays imprisoned in Tehran’s infamous Evin Jail. Mohammadi’s kids are resulting from settle for the Nobel medal and diploma on her behalf on Sunday.

“After we see extra girls being appreciated for his or her tireless efforts to carry justice, to struggle in opposition to oppression and to struggle in opposition to gender discrimination, it offers us hope since you understand that you’re not alone,” Yousafzai stated.

Yousafzai started her struggle in opposition to the oppression of ladies and women by writing and publishing blogs on the age off 11.

She had a heartfelt message for younger women as we speak, urging them to seek out their voice.

“Don’t anticipate anybody else to talk for you,” she stated. “You could have the facility to face up for your self.”


Imray reported from Cape City, South Africa.

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