Malala Yousafzai, a superwoman from Pakistan who fought for education rights for girls just when she was a teenager. Malala’s father was an educator and founder of many schools. Malala enjoyed learning new things. She had ambitions, she dreamt of becoming a teacher like her father one day. She studied different languages such as English and Urdu. Malala’s journey began, when she turned fifteen and started to become aware of her surroundings. She noticed that not all the girls in her community were going to school. There were girls her age who never stepped a foot in the school.
Malala recognized that she was lucky enough to get an education, but it did not make her feel better. She thought getting an education shouldn’t be a privilege but a human right. Around this time, a fundamentalist group started to gain control of the town where she lived. They began to administer new rules which restricted women from having a job, the right to vote and getting an education. As the days passed by, fewer girls attended schools. Malala began to ask more questions. She asked her father, “Why aren’t girls going to schools?” Her father replied, “They can’t, even if they want to because they fear for their lives.” At this time, all girls’ schools were shut down and the ones that remained open were burned down by the fundamentalist groups.
Malala was committed to speak up against this oppression and she wanted the whole world to know. She said, “My people need me and I shall raise my voice.” She began to write a blog called Diary of a Pakistani girl. Her story traveled around the country. Soon, reporters from international newspapers wanted to share her story. As you can imagine, it made the fundamentalist group furious. Therefore, they tried to assassinate Malala.
But they failed. And it did not stop Malala from advocating for girls’ education, it only made her motivation stronger. Malala said, “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” On her sixteenth birthday, she gave a speech in the UN General Assembly urging for all girls to have the opportunity to get an education. Malala is the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She also published a best-selling book called I am Malala. The United Nations named July 12th as World Malala Day to honor women and children’s rights around the world. In June 2020, Malala graduated from Oxford University with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics while continuing to help women around the world.
Malala Yousafzai is an inspiration for all women and young girls. Her age did not prevent her from supporting and fighting for what she believed in. Her beliefs about women’s rights reflected sentiments of many people within and outside of her community. I want to leave you with one last thought. Malala states, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”