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Malala Day being celebrated on July 12 to stand up for girls' right to education
The UN proclaimed Malala Day is being observed across the world today to mark the birthday of Malala Yousafzai on July 12 and to celebrate her contributions towards female education.

Yousafzai, who turns 20 today is the youngest-ever Nobel laureate.

She is known for her human rights advocacy, promoting women education and gender equality which has now grown into an international movement through Malala Fund.

On 12 July 2013, on her 16th birthday, Yousafzai spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education in the presence of 500 young education advocates from around the world. The event was converted into an annual observance called "Malala Day".

She responded to the call of the UN by saying, "Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights."

Yousafzai's memoir "I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban", co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb, was published in October 2013 by Little, Brown and Company in the US and by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK, which works as an inspiration to young activists who work for the cause of female education.

Quoting UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Malala Fund subscribes, "Girls are often under pressure to drop out of school, even after they complete primary education. Making the transition to secondary education is critical for girls to develop important skills and confidence in order to fulfill their true potential. Even if they do transition to secondary school, the number of girls who complete upper secondary is very low. We can't be sure of the numbers because in many developing countries the number of girls (and boys) in or out of upper secondary is not even counted. We say: Girls count, so count girls!"

According to the UN, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is to become the youngest United Nations Messenger of Peace, the UN chief had said in April this year.

Accordingly, Yousafzai, 19, was appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help promote girl's education around the world as part of her new role, stated the UN on its website.

In India too, Malala Fund initiatives are being explored for education of the children of deprived groups in educationally backward states.

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