What was supposed to be a regular day after school, turned out to be a tragic incident for this young girl, Malala Yousafzai. A Taliban gunman shot Malala and her friends in her schoolbus when she was only 12 years old. Her fault? She voiced her opinion about girls and their right to education in Pakistan.
Born in Pakistan, Malala started writing, under the pseudonym Gul Makai, about denial of girl education under the Taliban rule in North West Pakistan and got many readers for the same. This event ignited a new global campaign to fight for girls’ rights.
Today on her 19th birthday, we recall her efforts, achievements, and her way forward.
After the infamous incident, the world sympathized with her efforts and came together to help her with her mission to educate girls. Her campaign ran so strong that she was featured in TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” for three consecutive years namely, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
She released her memoir named ‘I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education was Shot by the Taliban’ in the year 2013, which was co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb. The book gathered attention world wide and her story reached millions of people across the globe.
In the year 2013, she received the National Youth Peace Prize along with the Sakharov Prize in the same year. The year continued to keep her busy with many nominations for her work. In the consecutive year in Sweden, she was nominated for yet another prize named World Children’s Prize and also an honorary doctorate by the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
She became an inspiration to not just young girls, but everyone around the globe and her nomination and winning the Nobel Prize is a testimony to that. Being the first 17 year old to ever win a Nobel prize, she has definitely raised the bar for regular teenagers. The achievements don’t stop just there. An Oscar nominated short documentary titled ‘He Named Me Malala’ was also made in her honor in the year 2015.
A teenager who rebelled against societal norms is not always such a bad testament is it now? Malala has been featured on many TV shows to tell her story to as many people as possible to gather support for her campaign and her organization Malala Fund, which has donated millions for girls education.
“I won’t stop until every girl can go to school.”
This birthday she asks people to pay it forward and help her with this mission of girl education across the globe. According to refinery29.com, there’s at least $3.5 million earmarked for educational projects across six countries.
While this adult teen is making history, we applaud her courage and bravery to stand up to those who shot her down. Happy Birthday to the game changer!
Feature Image Courtesy: tribute.ca