Ottawa, April 4 (IANS) Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, will on April 12 address Canada’s parliament and officially receive the honorary Canadian citizenship bestowed upon her in 2014, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said.
Trudeau, in a statement on Monday, said: “I am pleased to announce Malala Yousafzai’s upcoming visit to Canada. Yousafzai’s courageous response to those who threatened her life, and her advocacy for girls’ education, has inspired many millions of people around the world.
“Her story is one of determination and dignity, and Canada is proud to call her an honorary citizen of this great country. I look forward to attending the upcoming ceremony and witnessing the historic moment when she becomes the youngest person to address the Parliament of Canada.”
Trudeau will meet Malala to discuss girls’ empowerment through education and how they can actively contribute to the sustainable development of their communities and countries.
Malala was targeted by Taliban militants after she became an outspoken advocate for the right of girls to learn and to attend school.
She has since become an international spokesperson for girls’ education and the rights of women and girls.
In recognition of this work, she was named a co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi.
“The people of Canada are leading the world in their response to the refugee crisis. I am honoured by the parliament’s invitation and look forward to visiting this great nation of heroes,” she said.
The House of Commons in October 2014 unanimously supported bestowing honorary Canadian citizenship upon Yousafzai to recognise her bravery in the fight for the rights of women and girls.
Yousafzai is one of just six people to receive honorary Canadian citizenship. The others are Raoul Wallenberg, Nelson Mandela, the 14th Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Aga Khan.