Eight years ago, an eleven year old girl started writing blogs for BBC Urdu, describing her life in the Swat valley which happened to be occupied by the Taliban. This girl, Malala Yousafzai then grew up to be the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, which she won for fighting for female education. Growing up with parents who ran schools in Swat Valley, Pakistan,
As a child she became an advocate for child’s rights and women’s rights and this put her in the radar of the Taliban which had been issuing notices for schools to be shut down, especially for girls. The Taliban issued a death threat against her because of her activism. Along with being under the radar of the Taliban, Yousafzai also came to the notices of scores of NGOs globally, which helped her fight for her cause. With the help of the NGOs and the UN, Malala brought eh the plight of women;s and children’s education in Pakistan to light.
On October 9, 2012, A gunman shot Malala in the head. She survived and used the incident to push her cause further. She then went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, making her the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate. In her speech at the United Nations, she said that she is just one of the people who were hurt by the terrorists and this incident gave her even more courage to fight for education.
On July 12, 2015, Malala Yousafzai turned 18 this is an important event of her life. Wanting to celebrate her birthday in a special way which was also Malala Day, she opened a school in Lebanon, for Syrian refugee girls. According to biography.com, she said during the inauguration, “Today on my first day as an adult, on behalf of the world’s children, I demand of leaders we must invest in books instead of bullets”.
Later, in October of the same year, a documentary on Malala’s life, named, “He Named me Malala” was released. The documentary was directed by Davis Guggenheim and it shows the life of Malala and her immediate family along with the work she does and her travel.
Two years later, Turning twenty, Malala spent her birthday in Mosul, Iraq, by way of her ‘Girl Power Trip’ , an initiative by Yousafzai where she travels around the world to educate people and create awareness on the importance of education.
In Mosul, Malala spoke to girls whose education has come to a pause because of the activities of the ISIS. According to a report by Mic, Yousafzai met an Iraqi girl who who has not gone to school for three years because her father was captured by the ISIS. The girl, Nayir, told Malala, “No matter what, nothing will keep me from finishing my studies.” According to the report on the same website, Yousafzai said, “For me, the most important thing is talking to other people, learning from them and speaking out for what you believe in”.
In April 2017, Yousafzai was named the U.N. Messenger of Peace to promote girls education. Yousafzai has also been made into an honorary Canadian citizen.
News Source: Mic articles
Image Source: Parade