His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan—Congratulations on Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship AwardPublished on 18 October 2016 Hansard and Statements by Senator Mobina Jaffer
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, I rise today with great pride as I congratulate His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan on being awarded the inaugural Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship.
I would like to thank Madame Clarkson for recognizing the work His Highness the Aga Khan does for women and men both in Canada and abroad.
Just last week, many of us celebrated the International Day of the Girl. We posted on social media, we changed our Facebook pictures, and we committed to ensuring that girls around the world have access to education and equal opportunity.
While today this is something that seems like a basic human right, I am sure you will agree that 60 years ago this was not a common sentiment. However, it most certainly was in my household.
Even 60 years ago, the Aga Khan and his grandfather before him advocated for the rights of girls, proclaiming that if you have a son and a daughter and you can only afford to educate one, educate your daughter, because if you educate a man or a boy, you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl, you educate a family.
Honourable senators, it was because of the Aga Khan’s commitment to educating girls that I received an education. In fact, I truly believe that everything I am and everything I have achieved is thanks to the work of His Highness and the support of my parents and my husband.
I am also extremely grateful that so many others, often in the most remote and vulnerable corners of this world, continue to feel the social impact of the work of His Highness. Today, thousands of young girls, just like myself, are born in Aga Khan hospitals and educated in Aga Khan schools.
Honourable senators, I understand that the Aga Khan has been a recipient of many great honours and awards. However, no award, statement or accolade could ever capture the impact he has had on my life and the lives of people all over the world.
Thank you, your Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, for all you have done and continue to do for me, for Canadians and for all of humanity. Thank you.