Malala Yousafzai

Pakistani Female Rights Activist

Early Life

Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan. She lived in a popular tourist location, but that faded out as the Taliban took control of the country. She was taken out of school due to the Taliban's strict laws.

Speaking Out

After the Taliban took away her right to education, Malala Yousafzai spoke out in Septemeber 2008. Later, in 2009, she began blogging for BBC about the injustice under a fake name. However, her real identity came out later that year. Due to her bravery and intelligence as a leader, she gained a growing platform of supporters. As her supporters grew, Malala was awarded Pakistan's Youth Peace Prize and got her a nomination for the International Children's Peace Prize in 2011.

Death Threat

At the age of 14, the Taliban issued a death threat against Malala. However, her and her family weren't especially concerned about her due to her young age, though they did worry about Malala's anti-Taliban activist father. Unfortunately, the Taliban's threat was not hollow, and Malala was shot in the head on a bus. Being in crititcal condition, she was flown to Birmingham, England. Through this experience, she learned the dangers of her speaking out, but she also gained even more determination to right the injustice.

After undergoing multiple surgeries, Malala started on the road to recovery and is now fully recovered with no permanent brain damage.

Still Standing

Malala's support platform only grew after her near-death experience, and she is still speaking out against educational injustice. She wrote an auto-biography titled I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and was Shot by the Taliban, and she gave a speech on her 16 birthday at the United Nations. On October 13, 2013 she was awarded Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. That same year she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Though, she did not win, she was dominated once more in 2014. This time, she was awarded the prize at age 17, earning herself the title of youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Because of her determination and bravery, Malala was able to gain international attention that will hopefully help restore the right of education.

Today, Malala is still speaking out against the injustice in Pakistan, and she will continue to fight until her and her people are given their rights back.

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by: Grace Stout