Rabat - 19-year-old activist, Malala Yousafzai, is set to receive an honorary Canadian citizenship when she visits the country on April 12.
Rabat – 19-year-old activist, Malala Yousafzai, is set to receive an honorary Canadian citizenship when she visits the country on April 12.
In a statement released by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, the young girls’ rights activist was praised for her “strong determination and dignity.” The PM’s statement also addressed Malala’s “courageous response to those who threatened her life, and her advocacy for girls’ education.” She was described as an inspiration to “many millions of people around the world.”
The honorary citizenship was set to be conferred on Malala Yousafzai in October of 2014. The shootings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, however, forced a delay and scheduling conflicts would not permit the ceremony to take place until now.
Yousafzai was only 15 when the Taliban shot her in the head in an attempted assassination because of her advocacy for girls’ education rights. The plucky teen not only survived, her Malala Fund has gained worldwide notoriety for its ferocious defense of girls’ rights on a global scale. The fund tackles chronic educational disparities head-on, invests in local communities and assists governments in filling funding gaps and any other barrier that works to inhibit a girl from completing her education.
In a Global Citizen report, when asked about the honorary Canadian citizenship the Nobel Peace Prize winner said “The people of Canada are leading the world in their response to the refugee crisis. I am honoured by Parliament’s invitation and look forward to visiting this great nation of heroes.”
Since November of 2015, Canada has welcomed more than 40,000 Syrian refugees. By comparison, the United States has accepted just 10,000 over the same period of time.
Yousafzai will be the youngest person ever to have addressed the Canadian Parliament. She will also be only the sixth person to ever receive the honorary citizenship. Other recipients include Raoul Wallenberg, Nelson Mandela, the 14th Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi and the Aga Khan.