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Malala, Pakistani girl shot by Taliban, appears on video

February 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Malala Yousufzai, a teen girl shot by Taliban militants in Pakistan, appeared in a video statement Monday calling for furthering girls' education.

Malala, 15, was shot in the head on Oct. 9 on her way home from school. She is an outspoken advocate for girls' education. The Taliban targeted her for championing education and "Western thinking."

She was transported and treated to a hospital in England where she continued to recover.

In Monday's video, she remained defiant and called for education for all. She said she would continue the same campaign that led to her attack. She spoke clearly, but the left side of her face appeared rigid. She said she was "getting better, day by day."

"I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund," she said in the video, made available by a public relations firm.

The shooting sparked outrage in Pakistan and many other countries, and her story has captured global attention for the struggle for women's rights in her homeland. In a sign of her impact, the teen made the shortlist for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2012.

Malala was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan in October to receive specialized medical care and protection against further Taliban threats. She is expected to remain in the U.K. for some time as her father, Ziauddin, has secured a post with the Pakistani consulate in the English city of Birmingham.

Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which has been treating the teen, said it successfully operated to reconstruct her skull. Doctors said Malala also had a cochlear implant to restore the hearing in her left ear, which became deaf as a result of the shooting.

Dr. Anwen White, a neurosurgeon who led the operations, said the teen did not suffer any long-lasting cognitive damage. She does not require any further operations and can hopefully return to school soon, White said.

The Malala Fund is a girls' education charity set up in late 2012 by international nonprofit Vital Voices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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