Malala Yousafzai was only 11 years old when the Taliban took over her city Mingora in Swat Valley, Pakistan, and prohibited girls from attending school. Fighting for her right to receive an education, Malala gave public speeches, made TV appearances, and wrote a blog for the BBC in which she described her life under the Taliban regime and her desire to return to school. In 2012, at the age of 15, she was shot by Taliban gunmen and was critically injured.
On July 12th, 2013, on her 16th birthday and only nine months after being attacked, Malala addressed the UN in a speech about women’s right to education. She emphasized the importance of women having fair access to education and urged world leaders to act on this matter.
Leading to her speech, the UN declared July 12th as International Malala day, honoring the fearless young activist and her fight for women’s right to education, to which she responded: “Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy, and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.”
Malala received many national and international awards, including the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, as the youngest person in history to win it.
Today, International Malala Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries with events, lectures, and demonstrations, acknowledging Malala’s contribution to society and promoting children’s access to education across the globe.
You can celebrate the day by learning about children and women’s fight for education, learn the Malala’s journey by reading her autobiography or watch a documentary movie about her. Consider a donation to Malala’s fund and share her story on social media using #MalalaDay.
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