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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at George Mason University chapter.

When it comes to inspirational young women of our generation, Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg are at the top of the list.

Yousafzai, 22, was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for publicly speaking about her thoughts on girls having the right to get an education. After surviving the shooting, Yousafzai continued to fight for girls and their rights to education and established the Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to giving girls the opportunity to learn and choose their futures. In 2014, she received a Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest-ever Nobel laureate. She is now a Philosophy, Politics and Economics major at Oxford University. 

Thunberg, 17, is a climate change activist whose campaigning has led to international recognition and praise. After her picture protesting outside the Swedish Parliament went viral, Thunberg obtained a following that resulted in a climate strike that included 20,000 students participating from around the world. At the end of 2019, TIME magazine named her as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. 

Recently, the two activists met up at Oxford University, where Yousafzai is currently a student. When a Nobel Peace Prize-winning education activist and a teenage climate change activist meet for the first time, the Internet will rightfully get very excited. Much to the delight of people from all over the world, they both posted their meetup on social media. Yousafzai posted a picture of her and Thunberg on Instagram with the caption “Thank you, @gretathunberg” Thunberg did the same, with a caption of “So… today I met my role model. What else can I say? @Malala”.

While their meetup was met with both praise and criticism, the significance of it was not lost. As Women’s History Month approaches, these two activists represent the exact resilience and courage that women throughout history have demonstrated. The camaraderie and sisterhood that they displayed is beautiful and an ode to their predecessors, who have also fought for what they believed in.

These women are global symbols of strength in the face of oppression and pillars of bravery and brilliance. Both Yousafzai and Thunberg are an immense source of inspiration and hope to people all across the world. The strength and courage they demonstrated by sticking up for their beliefs for a better future was a much needed and wonderful source of inspiration for young girls everywhere.

George Mason Contributor (GMU)

George Mason University '50

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