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The Toronto Star: Malala Yousafzai in Toronto to Receive Honorary Citizenship

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Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who shares this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, will be made an honorary Canadian citizen at a downtown Toronto hotel on Wednesday afternoon.

MPs and senators unanimously voted to approve the motion the night before her scheduled visit to Toronto, where she will also be attending an event on women’s rights.

The event titled “Strong Girls, Strong World” will be held at the Central Technical School at 2:45 p.m. It will and focus on “empowering young girls through meaningful discussion, to continue being leaders and voices of change in their communities.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be moderating a Q&A session and will be joined by Yousafzai, as well as Harper’s wife Laureen and Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women Kellie Leitch.

More on thestar.com:

Yousafzai, 17, will then receive her citizenship at the Fairmont Royal York at 4:30 p.m. in a ceremony with the Harpers and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

The young education advocate is joining five others who have also become honorary Canadians in the last 30 years, in recognition of her bravery in her fight for the rights of women and girls to go to school, said Harper in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai, poses for a photograph after addressing the media in Birmingham, England on October 10, after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, which she shared with 17 India's Kailash Satyarthi for their work promoting children's rights.

OLI SCARFF / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai, poses for a photograph after addressing the media in Birmingham, England on October 10, after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, which she shared with 17 India’s Kailash Satyarthi for their work promoting children’s rights.

Yousafzai’s activism on behalf of girls in her region in Pakistan made her a target of the Taliban at the age of 15, when a would-be assassin shot her in the head. Since recovering, she has become known worldwide as a spokesperson on the importance of access to education.

Yousafzai celebrated her 16th birthday by speaking at the United Nations headquarters, where she and Harper first met.

He had first declared his intention to present Yousafzai with the honour during last year’s throne speech.

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