Who is she?
Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, winning it at the age of 17. Since she was 10 years old, Yousafzai has been a proponent of education for women and girls in her home country of Pakistan. When she was 15, she was shot in the head by a Taliban soldier while on her way home from school.
What did she do?
When the local Taliban banned girls from attending school, Malala and her father took to the airwaves to talk about this injustice while holding underground class sessions for the girls of Swat Valley, her home town. When she was 11, she began writing for a BBC Urdu blog. In it she detailed her life, the Taliban occupation, and how difficult it was to get educated as a young girl. The Taliban did not like how vocal she was, so they put a hit out on her. Not believing that they would actually murder a child, Yousafzai continued her education in Pakistan until a gunman boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, and fired three shots, hitting her in the face. She survived the attack and was sent to England for safety and rehabilitation. Since this attack, she has become an internationally renowned advocate for education, girls’ empowerment, and peace.
Why does she matter?
Malala Yousafzai continues to fight for the education of women and girls, not only in Pakistan, but all over the world. Her treatment at the hands of the Taliban shows that the global fight for equality is far from over. Her perseverance is an example to women and girls everywhere that not only is an education important, it is worth fighting for.