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Women Who Tell Our Stories: Malala Yousafzai

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

When I was 11 years old I learned that Malala Yousafzai had been shot. I didn’t know who she was but I heard everyone mentioning her name. With the help of the internet I learned that she was a young girl who got shot on her way home from school. She was shot because she spoke out about how girl’s deserve the right to an education.

Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 in Pakistan. She loved school and she loved to learn. Her dad was also a schoolteacher. But, eventually the Taliban took control of the village that she lived in. From then on, education for girls was very limited. She didn’t know when she would go back to school or when she would even see her classmates.

Something that may not be as well known about her is that she was also a blogger at a very young age. She wrote anonymously about her life living under the rule of the Taliban. Her blogging wasn’t just because she enjoyed it. It was to go on the BBC Urdu website so that others could know what was going on. They needed a schoolgirl to blog anonymously and since her father was a schoolteacher it worked out.

After blogging for BBC eventually she was approached by a reporter for the New York Times for a documentary. She was also interviewed and began to appear on television. She publicly spoke out about how girls deserve the right to go to school. She was also awarded the Pakistan National Youth Peace Prize in December 2011.

That’s when the death threats toward her started to increase. They were published in the local newspapers in her town and some were even sent to her house. Yousafzai was not safe for speaking her mind.

On October 9, 2012 Yousafzai boarded the bus home after taking an exam. A masked gunman got on the bus and demanded to know which one of the girls was her. When she identified herself, she was shot on the left side of her head.

Afterwards the world began to know her name and her fight.

She spent long months undergoing surgeries and treatment plans. In December 2014 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is so far the youngest person to receive it.

To this day, Yousafzai continues to fight for education. There is the Malala Fund, a charity to give every girl an opportunity to achieve the education she deserves. She has opened a school in Lebanon for Syrian refugees. She travels around the world and reminds world leaders about the importance of giving young girls the right to an education without any violence.

What a sad world it would be if it wasn’t for a woman like her who speaks on the importance of education. Education should not be privilege. It should be a human right.

Hello! I'm a senior Journalism student with a minor in Criminology. I have a love for books, anime and cats. You can often find me curled up on the couch with a romance novel while sipping some coffee.