In a video message from her home in England, education advocate Malala Yousafzai accepted her Asia Game Changer award from Asia Society. The 17-year-old Yousafzai, who was just last week named co-recipient, with India's Kailash Satyarthi, of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, thanked Asia Society, congratulated her fellow winners, and expressed her hope that joint worldwide effort can ensure access to education for girls and young women in troubled locales everywhere — from Nigeria to Jordan and Afghanistan to her native Pakistan.
"I thank the Asia Society for this honor, of being included in [this] list of remarkable people," Yousafzai said. "There are so many countries and there are issues that children are suffering through, but there are game changers as well who are going to speak, who are going to change the game, and who are going to work for their future. We have to do it together."
Shiza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, accepted the award on Yousafzai's behalf at the awards ceremony last night at the United Nations.
At one point in the video, Yousafzai distilled her message to a fundamental mantra: "I am a girl, I am a woman, I have equal rights."
Though the task ahead may seem daunting, Yousafzai urged listeners to take heart from her example.
"We girls in Swat, we have proved that when you speak up for your rights, you can really bring change."