A powerful documentary from the director of “An Inconvenient Truth” chronicles the work of Malala Yousafzai, who garnered international headlines after extremists shot her for helping young girls in rural Pakistan go to school.
“He Named Me Malala” was shown at the UN Commission on the Status of Women organized by MALA in collaboration with “Students Stand With Malala.”
Malala’s groundbreaking documentary looks at the events leading up to the Talibans’ attack on the young Pakistani school girl for speaking out on girls’ education and the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.
Over 160 people gathered together at the UN Church Center for the screening and panel discussion. The global audience included youth, men and women from all backgrounds, social policy makers, academics, and NGO representatives.
The parallel event, held outside the United Nations, aimed to increase awareness about the importance of men being part of the solution to gender disparity. Gender equality is not a ‘women’s concern’ but the responsibility of all individuals and of the society as whole and requires the active contribution and input from both women and men. Malala’s story is one that sparks inspiration for men holding a crucial role in building gender equality as equal partners with women.
The event was parallel with CSW’s theme, in that it emphasized that men must take joint responsibility with women for the promotion of gender equality and recognized that men and boys can and do make contributions to gender equality in their many
capacities, and in all spheres of society.
The film was introduced by Gretel Truong from Malala Fund, who also briefed the audience on the imperative work the organization is undertaking in order to achieve the United Nations’ SDG #4: To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The universal message of the film is applicable on a global context.
A dynamic and engaging panel discussion included Charity Tooze, Director of Development for Students Stand with Malala, and MALA’s Board of Directors Emil Aldaddah and Ahmed Omar. The emphasis on the importance of continuing to deliver Malala’s personal story was a key theme in the discussion.
The dialogue focused on the participation of men and boys in achieving gender equality in order to be consistent with the empowerment of women and girls, even in regions and environments where women and girls remain most vulnerable to violence and inequality. Audience members acknowledged that efforts must be made to address the undervaluation of many types of work, abilities, and roles associated with women. A powerful wrap-up touched base on the importance of available resources for gender equality initiatives so that opportunities and resources for women and girls may never be compromised. Attendees were also informed on how they could continuously take action to stand #withMalala and support the global campaign for girls’ education.