Topic and structure

Topic overview

Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech focuses on three main topics: Yousafzai’s personal story, inequality in the field of education, and children's rights in general. With her speech, Yousafzai intends to draw the audience’s attention to the fact that many children around the world do not have access to education because of war, violence, gender discrimination, and, she suggests, because of a lack of financial investment in education.

Yousafzai also speaks about her personal story, living in Pakistan under Taliban rule. The Taliban banned girls from attending school and attempted to assassinate Yousafzai for speaking against their actions. She tells the stories of girls in similar situations, and requests world leaders and the wider audience to act so that children worldwide are guaranteed access to free secondary education.



Malala Yousafzai begins her speech with a greeting in Arabic followed by a translation into English: “Bismillah-hir rahman ir rahim, In the name of God, the most merciful, the most beneficent”. This sentence reveals her Muslim faith and highlights her belief in God, which helps her create a personal connection with the audience. She continues with the phrase “Dear sisters and brothers”, which also has religious connotations, as it reflects the Islamic belief that all humans are God’s children an...

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