The 20-year-old Pakistani activist spoke to the Davos audience about feminism and revealed who her ultimate role model was.
Feminism can be 'tricky' to define
"I once said feminism was a tricky word but I've learned to embrace it since," Malala Yousafzai said in Davos on Thursday (January 25).
"It’s just another word for equality, Yousafzai says. No one should object to it, because of course women should have the same rights as men."
Five years ago, Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in her native Pakistan for defying a ban against women going to school. She’s the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, authored two books, co-founded the Malala Fund for girls' education with her father and is studying at Oxford University.
Yousafzai said she was already a feminist because she always defended women's rights, but that she just began to understand it better now.
"If you speak about women’s rights, then you are already a feminist, whether you embrace the term or not," said Yousafzai.
But Yousafzai assures the audience that the women's movement is building up and women are starting to stand up for themselves all over the world.
"I once told the UN that first we needed men to stick up for us, but we’ve moved on from that. We are going to do it ourselves," said Yousafzai.
'My father is my role model'
When the conversation shifts to feminism in men, her father is the example Yousafzai gives.
"He challenged society and norms at every stage of his life. He was a feminist that was taking action, and if he hadn't, I wouldn't be here, she says. "Many girls wanted to do what I am doing, but their brothers and their fathers wouldn't let them."
Yousafzai talks Donald Trump
Yousafzai also talked about US President Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual harassment and is also attending the World Economic Forum.
"I just get so disappointed to see that people are in these high positions when they talk about women in unequal terms and do not accept them as equals," Yousafzai told the audience. "It's shocking to think this is happening. I hope that people stand up and speak about it."
"And that when people are involved in such shameful things they think about their daughters and their mothers. Would they let it happen to them?" she added.
At the end of the session, Yousafzai stressed that the education of boys about women's rights is crucial.
"When we talk about feminism and women's rights, we are talking to men. We have to teach young boys how to be men."
To learn more about Yousafzai achievements, see the World Economic Forum's article about her life.