Malala Yousafzai (1997 – Present)
“I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls.”
Malala Yousafzai was born in Pakistan on July 12, 1997.
According to Malala, being born a girl in Pakistan is not always cause for celebration.
However, her father (a teacher) was determined to give her the same opportunities that a boy would receive. He also ran an all-girls school in her village.
Malala loved school and learning.
But in 2008, when the Taliban took over her town they enforced a ban on many things like owning a television and playing music. And worst of all, they also prohibited all girls from going to school. Harsh punishments were enforced for anyone that defied these rules.
In January of 2008, Malala said goodbye to her classmates, not knowing if she would ever she them again. She was only 11.
In 2012, at the age of 15, Malala publicly spoke out on women’s rights to education.
This made her a target.
In October of 2012, on her way home, a masked gunman entered the bus she was on and asked “who is Malala?”
As a result, the young activist was shot in the head.
However, Malala survived!
Ten days after the shooting, Malala woke up in a British hospital where she was told about the incident. It took months of rehabilitation and several surgeries for Malala to recover from the shooting.
In 2014, Yousafzai moved to the UK with her family. It was here that she realised:
“I could live a quiet life or I could make the most of this new life I had been given. I was determined to continue my fight until every girl could go to school.”
With fierce determination, Malala established the Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to giving every girl an opportunity to achieve a future she chooses.
In 2018, Malala furthered her education at the University of Oxford in the UK, along with working to ensure all girls are given the right and freedoms to pursue an education.
In recognition of our work, she received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2014 and became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate.
In 2020, Malala graduated from university!
Malala continues to fight for the rights of young girls all over the world, She says;
With more than 130 million girls out of school today, there is more work to be done. I hope you will join my fight for education and equality. Together, we can create a world where all girls can learn and lead.”
Malala is a shining example of what one person can do to change the world. Follow your dreams and passions. Who knows? You may also be a difference-maker, too!
What do you think of what Malala did? Leave us your thougts in the comments section.
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