Malala Yousufzai, all of 19 years old was present in Ottawa and accepted the honorary Canadian citizenship presented to her. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, introduced the Pakistani activist in House of Commons. He reminded everyone that Yousufzai survived an assassination attempt made on her life by the Taliban in 2012. She was attacked on the street while she left her school located in Swat Valley, Pakistan. The terrorist group had specially targeted her as she had actively campaigned against its efforts to stop women from getting educated.
Worldwide girls' education
Yousufzai, who has previously won the Nobel Peace Prize requested the government of Canada to lead a worldwide effort to prioritize education for refugees and girls. In her speech to Parliament on April 12, she asked Canada to ensure that girls' education becomes a central theme of the country's G7 presidency. Canada will be the president of the coalition from 2018. She wanted the country to use its influence so that the funding gap for global education is filled up. She also asked Canada to prioritize schooling for a period of 12 years for the refugees.
Yousufzai particularly requested Canada to be the host of the coming meeting of Global Partnership for Education. It will bring the world leaders together and also raise more funds for the girls so that they can go to school.
Honorary Canadian citizenship
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, in a separate special ceremony prior to her speech, presented Yousufzai with her own Canadian citizenship certificate. While accepting her award, Yousufzai said that she is humbled to receive Canadian citizenship. She said that she is a proud Pakistani citizen and is grateful to be one of the honorary members of a nation of heroes. She also joked that even with the honorary citizenship she will require a visa to visit Canada. The House of Commons laughed at this.
Yousufzai, during the second week of April, was appointed as United Nations Messenger of Peace. She is the youngest individual to hold the honor. She also was the youngest individual to be awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. She was 17 years old at that time. Marie Claude Bibeau, the International Development Minister of Canada, said that girls will be the centerpiece of the Canadian government's development policy. It is to be noted that the Canadian government has non-immediate schemes to up the spending on foreign aid.