MALALA YOUSAFZAI

Malala Yousafzai is know for being an advocate for women’s education during a time when the Taliban regime ruled Pakistan, banning young women and girls from attending school. At the age of 11, she became an undercover correspondent for the BBC, detailing her life in the Swat District under the Taliban regime. As her words moved the public across multiple continents, she gave more and more interviews in print and on television, and her true identity was revealed. Her words even caught the attention of Desmond Tutu (no big deal) who nominated her for the International Children’s Peace Prize. The Taliban agreed to lift their ban on women’s education three days after Malala spoke out against them on a talk show. 

Malala envisioned a confrontation with the Taliban, stating “I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.”

In 2012, at the age of 15, the Taliban attempted to murder Malala, boarding a school bus and demanding to know which student was Malala, threatening to shoot them all if she was not identified. Malala was shot through the head and neck. She remained in a coma for two weeks, but inevitably made a full recovery, and grew even stronger in her fight for education and equal rights. 

"The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”

She has since co-authored a book, started a non-profit, was the subject of a documentary, was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for advocating for the rights of young women and children to receive an education. She is the youngest Nobel Laureate in history and she’s just getting started. 

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