Who is Malala? An Education Activist, Harbinger of Change, Leader — and the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
This is the story of Malala Yousafzai, born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, Pakistan and how she became synonymous with the word Education. She is a worldwide sensation, known as a true face of courage. Her life so far is no ordinary teenage story, but rather galvanizing and awe-inspiring. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, a Pakistani diplomat, and school owner runs multiple schools in his home country. Being raised by an education activist for a father, a deep love for education was embedded in Malala since childhood. Following her father’s footsteps, she took on the job of advocating education, especially for girls.
Malala has given some powerful thought-provoking speeches. On her 16th birthday, she addressed a panel of Youth leaders at the United Nations. The day now termed as ‘Malala Day’. She also went on to write her autobiography ‘I am Malala’ which was published in 2013. Her life so far is now an open book, right from how her father inspired from when she was a kid, her motivation, struggles, accomplishments, ideas to what she aspires. At age 17, she bagged the Nobel peace prize award along with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi making her the youngest person to receive one.
We often don’t realize what a privilege education is unless we hear of someone who had to fight for it. Malala has come a long way, with mammoth accomplishments to her name even before she turned 18. Her life has been a constant effort to revolutionize the world, break down barriers restricting girls from getting educated and creating an identity for themselves.
Malala established The Malala Fund, a program initiated to provide 12 years of education to girls from developing nations. The fund intends to empower girls and help them understand their worth in the world. The fund aims at developing education leaders and organizations so basic education is accessible to every girl in the world. The fund is centered around Malala’s belief system. She believes education is the strongest weapon and one that today’s world needs to bring about positive change. All accomplished under her movement titled #YesAllGirls. Malala was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011 and was awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize the same year.
Lastly, I do not want to categorize Malala by calling her a ‘Youth-Leader’. She is the Leader who is driven to empower masses with education. Malala is an unstoppable force, pushing boundaries and creating change globally. Her battle is motivating the world to participate in her movement to bring positive change and she is truly the leader this world needs.
Written by: Pranali Gotpagar
About GC4W: The Global Connections for Women Foundation is not-for-profit charity organization that believes in women and girls — and their rights to create new opportunities for themselves and their communities.