At the close of the first day of the Women in the World Summit Thursday night, Angelina Jolie presented Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year because of her impassioned advocacy for girls education. Following the horrific attack, Vital Voices, with a donation from the Women in the World Foundation, established the Malala Fund to be directed by the 15-year-old. In a video address, a miraculously healthy-looking Malala announced that she will use the fund to help with the schooling of girls in Pakistan.
“This is the happiest moment of my life,” Malala told the audience, adding, “If we can educate 40 girls, we can educate 40 million girls.”
Jolie recounted the horrific circumstances of Malala’s attack, which the young girl said she had almost been expecting. Malala had nightmares about the possibility, Jolie said, and vowed that if the Taliban attempted to kill her she would “tell them that what they were trying to do was wrong, that education is our basic right.”
During her hospital stay in London, Malala's father told her that a newspaper poll named her the sixth-most-influential person in the world. The seventh was President Obama. When her father asked if that made her feel good, Malala replied, “No. I don’t think human beings should be categorized."
After Jolie, who is the special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, left the stage, Tina Brown announced that the actress had recently made a personal donation of $200,000 to the fund.
“The only thing that mattered to Malala was school,” Jolie told the packed audience at the Women in the World Summit. “They shot her at point-blank range in the head—and made her stronger.”