International Malala Day is observed on July 12 to honor Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist who has been working for women’s right to education.
The day was established on July 12, 2013, by the United Nations to encourage world leaders to provide free and compulsory education for all children across the world.
Here are some interesting facts about Yousufzai’s life:
Worked as a blogger for BBC: When the extremist Taliban took control over Swat, Yousufzai’s hometown in Pakistan, girls were banned from going to school and getting educated. Yousufzai who was just 11 years old wrote about life under the Taliban under the pseudonym Gul Makai gaining international media attention.
Survived an assassination attempt: Yousafzai was attacked by a Taliban gunman when she was returning home from school on Oct.9, 2012. The little girl who was shot in the head and the neck was later sent to England for further recovery. Nine months later, on her 16th birthday, she delivered a moving speech at the UN headquarters. Yousafzai completed her formal education in England after joining Oxford University to study Philosophy, Economics, and Politics.
Youngest Nobel Prize Laureate in history: She received Nobel Peace Prize on October 10th, 2014, along with children’s rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi. She was just 17 at that time, and became the youngest person and the second Pakistani in history to receive the Nobel Prize.
Here are some inspiring quotes from Yousufzai that will help you understand the importance of educating girls and empowering them.
- “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
- “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
- “We want schools and education for every child’s bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education for everyone.”
- “Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”
- “If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”
- “Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.”
- “I raise up my voice not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
- “The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. they are afraid of women.”
- “My mother always told me,” hide your face people are looking at you.” I would reply,” it does not matter; I am also looking at them.”
- “I told myself, Malala, you have already faced death. This is your second life. Don’t be afraid — if you are afraid, you can’t move forward.”