Malala Yousafzai tells Tim Cook pandemic stunted girls' education

Malala Yousafzai says the pandemic stunted education for millions of girls in rural areas and shares her hope to return to Pakistan soon in intimate chat with Apple CEO Tim Cook where they gush about their mutual love for Ted Lasso

  • British Vogue hosted video chat between Apple CEO Tim Cook, Malala Yousafzai 
  • Nobel laureate, 23, told Cook pandemic hampered girls’ education worldwide 
  • She said she plans to travel to her home country of Pakistan after pandemic  
  • Cook and Yousafzai both said their favorite TV show is Ted Lasso 
  • Apple TV+ streaming service is partnering with Yousafzai in content deal

The COVID-19 pandemic could force some 20 million girls in the developing world to return to their homes and help support their families, likely denying them an education for life, activist Malala Yousafzai told Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Yousafzai and Cook also spoke of their shared love for the comedy series Ted Lasso, which streams on Apple TV+.

The two chatted for a feature released on Thursday by British Vogue.

Yousafzai, the 23-year-old Nobel Prize laureate, was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman at the age of 15 after campaigning for girls to be educated in her native Pakistan.


The COVID-19 pandemic could force some 20 million girls in the developing world to return to their homes and help support their families, likely denying them an education for life, activist Malala Yousafzai (left) told Apple CEO Tim Cook (right)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=bnPmLwFcCqA%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1

Despite the tragedy, she told Cook she is eager to return to her native country after travel restrictions, which were first put in place due to the pandemic, are finally lifted.

The iPhone maker has partnered with Yousafzai to help promote the Malala Fund, a nonprofit that seeks to ‘champion every girls’ right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education.’

In the video put out by British Vogue, Cook asks Yousafzai how much progress has been made toward the fund’s goal of educating 130 million girls worldwide.

Yousafzai said that while ‘we have seen progress over the past 20 years’ that has been ‘steady and slow,’ the COVID-19 pandemic has ‘drastically’ changed the situation.

The iPhone maker has partnered with Yousafzai to help promote the Malala Fund, a nonprofit that seeks to ‘champion every girls’ right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education.’ The image above shows young students in Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday

‘These girls are now in their homes and they now have more family work to do,’ Yousafzai said.

‘They’re asked to do family chores. They’re asked to become financial supporters for their family.’

She added: ‘All these girls are pushed into early child managers and many of these girls may never be able to return to school.’

Yousafzai said her organization’s research shows that this is what happened to girls during the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa nearly a decade ago.

‘This is the fear that I have for girls – they will lose their education because of this pandemic,’ she said.

Yousafzai said that post-pandemic education will rely more heavily on technology, which she says will put girls at a disadvantage.

‘The challenge ahead is to ensure that education is inclusive,’ she said.

Yousafzai told Cook that she plans to visit Pakistan after the pandemic.

‘It is just beautiful,’ she told Cook.

‘I miss my hometown, Swat Valley. Just seeing those mountains and lush green hills and rivers again – that’s something that when I was there in Pakistan I took for granted.’

She added: ‘When you go around the world and visit other countries, you realize that beauty of nature is not in every place.’

‘I would love to go to Pakistan, and I’d want to travel anywhere, to be honest, after this pandemic,’ Yousafzai said.

Earlier this year, Apple announced that Yousafzai will produce original programming for its streaming service Apple TV+.

She said she’s a ‘big fan of comedies and documentaries and movies and cartoons – and that’s what I’m hoping to create.’

Yousafzai said her favorite show was Ted Lasso, a comedy starring Jason Sudeikis.

Cook and Yousafzai said they were entertained during the pandemic by watching their favorite show, Ted Lasso, which streams on Apple TV+. The lead character played by Jason Sudeikis is a small-time soccer coach from the US who runs a professional team in England despite having no experience. From left: Nick Mohammed, Sudeikis, and Brendan Hunt

The former Saturday Night Live star plays a small-time soccer coach from the US who runs a professional team in England despite having no experience.

During the pandemic, Sudeikis’ ‘joyful’ character brought ‘so much laughter and joy into your life,’ according to Yousafzai.

Lasso ‘makes you giggle’ because ‘you love his sense of humor.’

‘It was emotionally moving as much as it was funny,’ she said. ‘I binge-watched it, and I was up until 3am watching it!’

Cook agreed, saying that he couldn’t wait for the second season.

‘It was my favorite show during the pandemic,’ the Apple boss said.

‘It made me feel light and happy and optimistic, despite the news of the day.’ 

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