Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997, in Pakistan. Malala is known for her resistance to the Taliban regime that dominated the Pakistani region where she lived and had forbidden girls from attending school.
On a bus ride going home from class in October 2012, Yousafzai was specifically targeted and shot by a Taliban gunman who was part of a group of attackers, with two other girls injured as well. Days later she was airlifted to England and, with severe head trauma, began the months-long road to recuperation at the hospital.
Upon being released in February 2013, she resumed her studies in Birmingham and in June of that year, with aplomb, defiance and wisdom, addressed the United Nations about her experiences and vision for the world.
The Malala Fund was also established, providing global investments in educational opportunities for girls.
In 2014, at the age of 17, she became the youngest person to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, along with fellow activist Kailash Satyarthi, for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.
In 2017, she began her studies at Oxford University and the following year returned to visit her native country for the first time since she had left. That year, Malala became a UN Messenger of Peace.
“With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Using the pseudonym Gul Makai, Malala was only 11 when she started blogging about what life was like under the Taliban for the BBC.
At Yousafzai’s 2013 speech at the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pronounced July 12th – Yousafzai’s birthday – ‘Malala Day’ in honor of the young leader’s activism to ensure education for all children.
CAUSE: EQUALITY FOR WOMEN AND DEFENSE OF THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Malala is an international activist who advocates for the rights of girls and women while emphasizing the transformative powers of education, dialogue and peace.
In 2013, Malala created the Malala Fund, which invests in education programmes to help girls go to school and reach their full potential.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MALALA AND HER WORK?
He named me Malala is a 2015 American documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim that presents the life of Malala Yousafzai.
United Nations: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times features Malala testimony.
Malala has also written the 2013 memoir I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, an autobiographical book, with Christina Lamb.
In 2017, Malala wrote Malala’s Magic Pencil, an illustrated book about her story for little ones.