"One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first." These were the words from Malala Yousafzai when she gave an inspiring speech at the United Nations' headquarters in New York on Friday.

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Malala – the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head in 2012 for daring to speak out about girls' rights to education – spent her 16th birthday giving a powerful speech that captivated her audience and drew many spontaneous outbreaks of applause.

The UN declared the day as "Malala Day" and she used the prestigious platform to demand compulsory education for young people worldwide.

Malala told the audience that she had not changed since the shooting that almost killed her, saying the terrorists "thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. The only thing that changed [in my life] was that weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, fervour and courage was born. There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights, but this time we will do it by ourselves."

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