Nobel prize winner Malala challenges girls to do an hour of coding
Malala Yousefzai, co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel prize winner Malala challenges girls to do an hour of coding

16 Oct 2014

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has called on girls across the planet to discover computer science by taking part in the Hour of Code.

Last week, Yousafzai (17) from Pakistan jointly won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize along with children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.

Yousafzai has been championing girls’ education since the age of 11, when the Taliban overran her hometown of Mingora, Pakistan, and threatened to destroy the schools.

Two years ago, a gunman from the fundamentalist group shot Yousafzai in the head in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat, but quick actions of British doctors visiting Pakistan saved her life.

In a short video, Yousafzai encouraged girls across the world, “Every girl deserves to take part in creating the technology that will change our world and change who runs it. I challenge girls in every single country to learn one hour of code. You can do it, even if you don’t have a computer.” 

The global coding revolution

The Hour of Code is a global movement that reaches tens of millions of students in 180 countries and encourages them to do an hour of coding.

Anyone, anywhere, can organise an Hour of Code event and one-hour tutorials are available in more than 30 languages.

Last year, some 15m students worldwide learned an Hour of Code, outpacing social networks Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram in reaching a comparable number of users.

The Hour of Code event coincides with EU Code Week, which sees people all across Europe engage in creating and building apps.

Earlier this week, some 30 children from CoderDojos across Europe demonstrated their coding skills to MEPs at the European Parliament in Brussels.

CoderDojo, which James Whelton and Bill Liao started in Cork three years ago, now has 25,000 kids across the world learning how to code every week and ambitious plans are under way to grow that number to 100,000 within 18 months.

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Don’t miss our Innovation Ireland Forum on 24 October in the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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