Things are still a work in progress, as women continue to come up against a variety of societal pressures throughout their lives. They face more complex consideration sets when debating whether they should or shouldn't strive for a promotion, consider a career break, be a certain body shape, maintain a specific work-life balance; the list goes on.
There is a saying that goes "when you educate a girl, you educate a nation". And research by Unicef indeed shows that investing in girls and empowering them to reach their full potential is critical for overcoming cycles of intergenerational poverty*. Yet today around the world girls and women still face significant barriers to social and economic empowerment.
I hope that through this expansion, young girls will develop a strong belief in self. They will determine their own sense of beauty and reach beyond the things that traditionally may have been available to them. I hope they will see the possibilities and set a course to achieve whatever possibilities they seek.
I want to know what she'd say to other girls in the same situation. She turns to look straight down the camera, to address all of those girls and women who've suffered violence, and says: "To all the girls and women who have suffered like I have, please speak up! Don't let anyone get away with it. Talk to someone you trust, who believes in you - and someone you know can make a difference. Let's show society we don't have to stay quiet."
As an arts aficionada taking STEM subjects - in my case mathematics and information engineering, and computer science later this year - I've noticed several beliefs that people who tend to avoid STEM hold. By changing these beliefs, I'm sure more girls will find STEM relevant and worth putting effort into.
In recent months, education in Myanmar has dominated headlines. A new law to reform Myanmar's outdated education system was introduced to train students to be critical thinkers and law abiding citizens. But the law has also faced significant criticism, because it undermines the autonomy of universities and fails to recognise the formation of student and teacher unions.
At the end of the invigorating and stimulating three day Skoll World Forum I met with Kennedy Odede, founder of Shining Hope for Communities, (SHOFCO) and Kibera School for Girls. Our meeting was inspiring and poignant and echoed many themes I had heard throughout the conference regarding the importance of girl's education. It seems fitting that I tie my interview with Kennedy to these issues in this article.
More and more, we are hearing about the convergence of health and education. You can't learn if you are out of school sick. Lack of education leads to poverty and in turn the inability to access healthcare. To lead productive lives, people need both health and education: the two are cause and effect.
Today, history is made. Malala Yousafzai becomes the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, standing shoulder to shoulder with illustrious Laureates past Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Mother Theresa.