Event Recap

New Atlanticist

Mar 5, 2021

Malala Yousafzai: The pandemic is endangering long-term education for millions of girls

By Larry Luxner

There were already 130 million girls out of school worldwide before the COVID-19 crisis, and an estimated twenty million more may never return to their classrooms once the pandemic is over, warned female-education activist Malala Yousafzai.

Education Pakistan

The Atlantic Council hosted a conversation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on March 5, 2021. She spoke on the efforts of the Malala Fund to provide better and early access to educational opportunities for girls around the world, starting with eight countries and expanding to others in need. The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center was pleased to present this live, online conversation as part of the #ACFrontPage event series, our premier ideas platform spotlighting global leaders who are championing constructive solutions to global challenges.

Educating girls could add up to $12 trillion to global growth, reduce child mortality, and improve the health of families. Increasing educational opportunities for girls could diminish economic inequality and reduce extremism that often feeds on inequitable distribution of wealth in societies. Going beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar approach, Ms. Yousafzai believes in expanding female participation in the formal labor force by creating opportunities and helping local partners break down societal barriers to the entry of women into the formal work force. The Malala Fund is working to create champions of education at the community level, assisting them in networking, and improving access to education through secondary school.

An #ACFrontPage Event

Atlantic Council Front Page is our premier live ideas platform for global leaders to discuss the defining challenges of our time. #ACFrontPage is a high-level event series featuring top newsmakers across multiple digital platforms. Harnessing the convening power and expertise of the Council’s sixteen programs and centers, #ACFrontPage leverages the Council’s capabilities in social media, press, and digital outreach to spotlight the world’s most prominent leaders and the most compelling ideas across sectors and engage new audiences eager for nonpartisan and constructive solutions to current global challenges. This widely promoted program features the Council’s most important guests and content serving as the highlight of our programming.


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The South Asia Center is the hub for the Atlantic Council’s analysis of the political, social, geographical, and cultural diversity of the region. ​At the intersection of South Asia and its geopolitics, SAC cultivates dialogue to shape policy and forge ties between the region and the global community.