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Malala has a message for Trump on women’s rights

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, used the stage at the World Economic Forum on Thursday to send a message to President Trump and other powerful men on the state of gender equality in today’s world.

When asked what her message to “someone like Trump” would be, Yousafzai, the 20-year-old women’s empowerment activist, said she was “so disappointed to see that people in high positions talk about women in unequal terms and do not accept them as equals.”

Responding to another question about Trump’s record on women’s rights and the allegations of harassment and abuse that have been leveled against him, Yousafzai replied that "it is just shocking for a second to believe that this is actually happening. . . . I hope that women stand up and speak out against it.”

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Yousafzai first came to international prominence after being shot in the head in 2012 for defying a Taliban ban on girls attending school in her native Pakistan. She has since used her platform to advocate for women and girls and their right to education, especially in parts of the world where access to those basic rights have traditionally been denied to them.

“I think it’s so important that our education gives the message of equality to every child,” she said.

Yousafzai long argued that improving the lot of women requires the support of men, crediting her father for encouraging her from an early age. “He challenged society and norms at every stage of his life. He was a feminist that was taking action. And if he hadn't, I wouldn't be here,” she said. “Many girls wanted to do what I am doing, but their brothers and their fathers wouldn't let them.”