I am angered by depictions of women in pop music, Malala Yousafzai says

The teenage activist said that female artists seem to have just accepted being treated like objects

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Human rights activist Malala Yousafzai has criticised the objectification of women in pop music.

The 17-year-old education campaigner questioned how women are perceived and said that female musicians appear to have just accepted it.

“What I get a bit angry about is the image of women,” she told The Observer Magazine.

“It gets quite difficult for me when I listen to pop music. I don't often understand the words, but when someone translates them to me, I think, 'What is this song representing? That women are just there to be treated like objects?'

“Most of the time they do not even make sense. And the thing is that most of the female artists seem to have accepted all this. But they have a role to play.”


It’s an issue that has ravaged the debate on the music industry’s alleged exploitation of young female artists.

Last year, veteran singer Sinead O’Connor wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus condemning the over-sexualisation of the younger singer’s videos and performances.

She advised Ms Cyrus that she is “worth more than [her] body or [her] sex appeal”, in a letter that led to a war of words between the two women.

Meanwhile, Ms Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban in October 2012 in her hometown of Pakistan, also spoke of her involvement in the campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM).

“It doesn't happen in Pakistan. So this was the first time I knew about it.

“People think, 'Oh, everything is good here because it is a developed country,' but I have seen that there are things here that need to be highlighted and solved.”

She revealed that she treasures her schooling – now in the UK – hoping to arm herself with the weapon of knowledge and will only sacrifice a day of school for an engagement “if it is going to bring real change,” she said.