Published March 07, 2013
She was shot in the head by the Taliban and made headlines, captured hearts, and inspired millions around the world.
Now Malala Yousafzai is continuing to speak out for women's rights.
The 15-year-old Pakistani girl became known for calling on girls to attend school in Taliban controlled areas. For her young activism, she was targeted by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan, who picked her out by name and then gunned her down at point blank range on her school bus last October. She was critically injured and in a medically-induced coma.
Miraculously she survived and still refuses to back down.
"We all have to fight for our rights," she proclaims. "If you don't fight for your rights, we won't get our rights."
Malala's plea comes in a video from the British hospital where she has been undergoing treatment. The nearly three minute presentation is part of the United Nations International Women's Day commemoration, which will be marked on Friday with a march outside the world body's headquarters in New York organized by the group, U.N. Women for Peace.
In the video, Malala is composed and articulate as she makes her case for oppressive societies to let girls and boys get an education. The effect of the bullet that doctors say tore through her head and neck, made her deaf in one ear, and lodged in her shoulder is still evident.
"If we sit in our home and we wait for someone else to come and speak up for our rights, then we will not see the day on which each and every girl will be going to school," she says softly. "If we want each and every girl to be educated, if we want peace all through the world, for that reason we all have to fight. We all should be united and not wait for anyone else to come and speak up for us, we should do it by ourselves."
She also decries the fate of many boys in underdeveloped nations, who also do not have educational opportunities.
"You can see boys that are working day and night, they don't go to school," she notes. "We should all work together."
'In school we learn how to live a life, in school we learn how to live with people. And the basic thing is, education is the tool for survival."
The group UN Women for Peace holds its rally at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, in front of the United Nations. Actress Susan Sarandon will read the text of Malala's plea.
“This march is not just about bringing awareness,” says the Chairman of UN Woman for Peace, Muna Rihani Al-Nasser. “We need governments to commit to enforce ending violence against women in their national agendas and we need everyone, men and women alike, to be responsible to take action.”
It is a cause that motivates Malala. She is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and is living with her family in the United Kingdom. Despite her hardships, she promises to continue her mission.
After the shooting, the Taliban vowed to continue to target her, but she is not letting the threats stop her from her cause that nearly cost her young life.
"Every day is the rights of all the human beings," she says.
More information can be found at: Womenforpeace.org.
Meredith Amor contributed to this report.