Malala Yousafzai-The Girl Who Stood Up And Fought For Her Rights

Malala is a girl from a small village in Pakistan who showed true courage and fought for her basic right to education which was being denied to her. She got her name ‘Malala’ from a famous Pashtun warrior and poetess, Malalai of Maiwand. In 2013, she was featured on the Time magazine's cover and in their issue as one of the “100 most influential people in the world” Even after her attempted assassination she has continued to raise her voice and inspired millions of people around the globe.

Early Life

Malala was born on 12. July. 1997 in Mingora, northwestern Pakistan. From an early age she had started advocating for women rights. Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai has been very influential in her growth as an activist. When she was just 11, her father took her to Peshawar to take part in a public speaking forum where she challenged the Taliban on how could they take away her basic right to education. On 3. Jan. 2009 she started blogging for BBC under a false name to keep her identity hidden. On her blog she wrote about her life under the Taliban siege and how they had forced girls to stop attending schools. Her blog ended on 12. March. 2009 and then she and her father approached a New York Times reporter to film a documentary. It was during this time that she committed to become a politician and not a doctor like she once wanted to be, so that she could a bring a change in the society. She continued to publicly advocate for woman's right to education and appeared on various shows and also gave interviews for newspapers. Her prominence grew and she started becoming the recipient of various awards. She was also an active user on Facebook and received many threats.

Assassination Attempt

After receiving a number of death threats by Taliban when she did not stop the Taliban saw no other way but to kill her and on 9. Oct. 2012 when she was coming back after taking an exam in a bus, a gunman boarded the bus and threatened that he would kill them all if they did not reveal who Malala was. After Malala's identity was revealed, the gunman shot Malala and she was hit with one bullet which hit her head, neck and ended up in her shoulder. Also two other girls were wounded during the shooting but were stable.

Aftermath of the Attack-Malala's Condition

After the shooting Malala was in a critical condition and was immediately flown to a Military Hospital in Peshawar where she had to be treated immediately and the doctors performed a 3 hour long surgery on her. On 11. Oct. 2012 she was moved to Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology where the doctors said that she had 70 percent chances of survival. On 15. Oct. 2012 her doctors and family approved her to be shifted to The United Kingdom for further treatment in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The cost of all the expenses of Malala's treatment was taken care of by the Pakistan government. After her treatment she made a full recovery and since March 2013 she has been a student at the all-girls Edgbaston High School in Birmingham.

Her Journey Forward

Many would be in a crippled state of mind after being surviving a terrorist attack but not Malala. Ever since her recovery she has made it her aim that every child in the world receives education and made sure that her story is heard. The attack was covered all and she received immense support from all around the world.

Since then Yousafzai has been given a global stage to advocate her thoughts. She spoke before the U. N on July 2013. She also met Queen Elizabeth II in the Buckingham Palace, in October she met Barack Obama and his family. She has also addressed at Harvard University, the oxford Union and at the Girl summit advocating for the rights of the females. She has also taken out her autobiography “I am Malala: The Girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban” She has garnered huge support from various famous celebrities and politicians around the world. She also opened a trust fund on her name after surviving the attack which is dedicated to providing education to girls around the world.

Recognition and Awards

Due to her growing prominence because of her brave work she has been a recipient of many awards.

  • In the year 2011 she was awarded International Children's Peace Prize and Pakistan's National Youth Peace Prize.
  • In 2013 The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
  • In 2013 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but did not win it but then again was nominated in the year 2014 and shared the award with Kailash Satyarthi.
  • In 2013 she was also awarded the United Nation's Prize in the Field of Human rights.

Around the world she has garnered huge support but in her home country, Pakistan there is still a mixed support for her and unfortunately Taliban still holds her as an enemy and still wants to kill her.

Author's Insight

I feel that Malala Yousafzai is a very brave human being to have faced so much at such a young age and still move forward with full force. Her step to fight and speak out for her rights is absolutely correct and inspires millions around the world including me to stand up and fight for what is right.

Author: Satyajay Jethwa