Boy to hand in Malala petition

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan

First published in National News © by

A schoolboy will present a petition in support of the injured Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai on a global day of action for girls' education.

David Crone, 17, will hand in the document, which calls for every child to have the right to go to school, to the Pakistan High Commission in London as part of a drive led by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

David, of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, a UN and Plan UK youth representative, said: "This is a really important cause - all young people are entitled to the same level of education and no young person should be excluded because of threats or their gender. If girls are to receive a good level of education they also need the solidarity of men and boys around the world to achieve it."

Saturday, which has been labelled "Malala and the 32 million girls day", marks exactly one month since the 15-year-old girls' education campaigner was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she travelled home from school with two classmates in north-west Pakistan.

Malala is recovering at a hospital in Birmingham after being brought to the UK for treatment a week after the shooting.

Youth representatives worldwide are handing in the "I am Malala" petition, which has already attracted more than one million signatures.

Mr Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, has presented a petition to Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, along with one million signatures from Pakistan demanding free and compulsory education.

Mr Brown later said there was now a real momentum for change in the country.

"I believe that in Pakistan, the silent majority is speaking and that there is now a national consensus that the country can delay no longer in ensuring girls and boys have schools to go to and teachers to teach them," he said.

"This has been a breakthrough moment for Pakistan and now we must turn Pakistan's new ambitions and popular determination into delivery on the ground."

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