Malala Yousafzai’s Fight for Education

In recent years, no one has given more of a voice to Girls Education than Malala Yousafzai.  Her relentless fight for education has transported her to international fame.  After surviving an assassination attempt, she is even more determined to bring awareness and social change to education equality.

Born in 1997 in the Swat Valley of Pakistan during the height of Taliban rule, Malala, a smart young girl, started noticing that women in her country were being suppressed because of their gender.  Education for girls was seen as a privilege and she felt this was unfair.  In 2009, backed by the encouragement of her father, she bravely started writing a private blog under a pseudonym for the BBC.  In the blog she freely expressed her views on education and the threat of the Taliban taking over her valley.  Her identity did not remain protected for long, and once it was known that she was the author of the blog, Malala and her father started receiving death threats.    

In October of 2012, the threat intensified and became an attempt on her life.  While riding the bus home from school, she was shot with one bullet that went through her head, neck and shoulder.  Flown to a hospital in England, she remained in critical condition.  Today, Malala and her family continue to reside in England for protection from the Taliban.  Once her condition improved, she immediately began working to allow girls’ voices to be heard; the Taliban would not silence her, they only made her voice louder.  Her refusal to stand down has brought light to millions of children around the world who are denied an education. 

In the past several years Malala has worked endlessly on behalf of education.  She opened up the Malala fund, which brings awareness to the social and economic impact of girls education and works to empower girls.  She delivered an incredible speech at the United Nations, urging them to support the fight for education for all children.  Last year she received the distinct honor of being the youngest person ever to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.  However, most impressively, at the age of 18, she opened a school for Syrian refugee girls. 

As she said in a speech, “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world!” Malala’s strength and perseverance have sparked an international movement.  Standing up for the belief in education, she proved that our voices are indeed our most powerful weapon.

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