March 8, 2022
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate and honor Malala Yousafzai and her tremendous bravery and tenacity in advocating for female education in the face of oppression. Malala was only 11 years old when she started to blog under a pseudonym about what life was like under the Taliban. Malala was greatly influenced and encouraged by her father who had founded a school in their region and had advocated for equal educational rights for both girls and boys. Malala blogged about how girls were no longer allowed to be educated and that hundreds of girl schools had been destroyed. She also began appearing on television to publicly advocate for female education. As her recognition grew, so did danger and death threats. When she was only 15 years old, she was shot in the head by the Taliban while boarding a bus to advocate for education to Pakistani girls. She was not expected to survive but survive and thrive she did. Two years after the bullets that tried to silence this fearless girl, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17. She was and still is the youngest recipient to receive this award.
At the age of 18, she opened an all-girls school for Syrian refugees calling upon all world leaders to provide “books not bullets.” She created the Malala Fund, which raised over $7 million within its first year and resulted in the creation of multiple schools in her native Pakistan. At present, she continues with her activism and continues to influence the lives of all women throughout the world to use their voices against oppression and illiteracy.
Learn more about The Malala Fund here.