Malala Yousafzai

Malala was born in 1997 in Mingora, in the Swat district in Pakistan. She is a Pakistani educational activist and Nobel Prize winner. In 2013 her activism got an international recognition and in 2014 she shared the Nobel Peace Award with Kailash Satyarthi. In 2013, Malala wrote the book “I am Malala” with the British journalist Christina Lamb. The book is about her upbringing and struggle for girls’ right to school and education.

Attempted murder

Malala is mostly known for her fight for girls right to education in the Swat valley where Taliban through times has prohibited girls from education. In the autumn of 2012 Malala was nearly killed in an attempt on her life by Taliban extremists. Despite wounds in her head and neck from the gunshots she survived. The attack started because of her refusing to subject to the Taliban prohibition of going to school. The days after the gunshots her life was in real danger and she was hanging on to life by a thread. Gordon Brown, last Prime Minister of England, implemented a petition within the U.N frames, in the name of Malala, with the goal of handing it over to the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in November the same year of the attempted murder. A year later she received the Sacharov prize which she received at a ceremony in Strasbourg in late November 2012.

The Nobel prize

In 2014 Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with the Indian Kailash Satyarthi. The reason was that they had both driven a fight for children and young people and against oppression and for the right of every girl and boy to get an education. Malala was, then, only 17 years old and the youngest winner in the Nobel history. The motivation from the Nobel committee was that she had shown that a young girl can improve the situation for many people through hard work. Because of this, Malala has become the voice of young people in the fight for education. The prize shared with Satyarthi makes a point in the fact that a Muslim and a Hindu, An Indi and a Pakistani, found each other in the fight on extremism and the fight for equal education.

The Nobel prize
The Nobel prize

Deprecates violence

Malala explained, in an interview with Jon Stewart in The Daily Show, that she would never fight back in a meeting with Taliban. What she would do instead is explain the advantages of educated women and then let the Taliban do what he wants with her. During 2015, a documentary film was made on her life and her activism for girl and female rights. The movie is called “He named me Malala” and in the movie the story of the attempted murder, and how she survived, is also told. She tells the story of how it all changed her and made her will to change even stronger. Today, Malala is studying at the University of Oxford where she majors in philosophy, politics and economy. She continues her fight for girl’s education in the world. During April to September 2017 she visited four continents at a trip she called “Girl Power trip”. During the trip she met with presidents and ministers and made them increase their investments in education for girls.