Listen Now

Watch: Malala Yousafzai addresses Canadian Parliament

Dear Canada, I’m asking you to lead once again,” the 19-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner said in Ottawa Wednesday.

By: /
14 April, 2017

To multiple standing ovations, 19-year-old Pakistani human rights activist and youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai addressed Canada’s Parliament on Wednesday, April 12. 

“Your motto and your stand, ‘Welcome to Canada’ is more than a headline or a hashtag. It is the spirit of humanity that every single one of us would yearn for, if our family was in crisis. I pray that you continue to open your homes and your hearts to the world’s most defenseless children and families — and I hope your neighbours will follow your example,” Yousafzai said, as she accepted honorary citizenship. 

“Though I still require a visa,” she said, prompting laughter. “But that’s another discussion.”

She spent much of her speech emphasizing the importance of and need for investment in girls’ education, asking Canada to show leadership.  

“Dear Canada, I’m asking you to lead once again. First, make girls’ education a central theme of your G7 Presidency next year. Second, use your influence to help fill the global education funding gap.”

Watch her full address above.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter