Malala Yousafzai is an activist for education for girls
especially in her home region of northwest Pakistan. She fights against the Taliban
who want her blood for the promotion of education for women.
She was born on July 12 1997 into a lower class family. She
gets her name from a legendary poet and warrior woman. She was mostly educated
by her father who is a poet and runs a school. Her father is the one who
convinced her to become a politician instead of what she originally wanted to
be which was a doctor. She started speaking out about educational rights in
2008 her speech was so inspiring and controversial it was covered by the media
throughout the region. Later in 2008 the BBC Urdu website had the idea to post
an anonymous blog of the life of a schoolgirl in Peshawar but it would be very
dangerous for anyone who volunteer for it. Malala’s dad suggested that she was
the one who would do it. During that time the Taliban were banning things that
they thought had western sentiment and could influence people so they censored
a lot of television and radio and would not let girls get an education. Women
were not even allowed to leave the house without a male escort. Beheadings were
commonplace for anyone who would try to oppose them. In seventh grade Malala
agreed to do the blog and in doing so put herself in immense danger. To ensure
her safety she used a pseudonym instead of her real name. She would write down
her thoughts and hand them to a reporter to record her thoughts. One of the
things she wrote about was the first battle of swat. Which was fought between
Pakistan and the Taliban over control of the swat district of Pakistan. Because
of this operation less and less girls were showing up for school until
eventually it was outright shut down. In 2009 the Taliban officially banned
girls from going to school at all and to show they were serious had already
blown up dozens of girls schools.
As the Taliban continued to destroy schools Malala blogged
about studying for exams even though her school was indefinitely closed. In
solidarity many private boys’ schools also closed. Eventually after the boys
private schools reopened. The restrictions placed on the girl’s education were
lifted but only with schools that taught both boys and girls. Girl only schools
were still closed. Malala wrote that only 10 percent of the students that
originally attended were still going to school. In February attendance of her
class was up but the Taliban were still very active in the area. Continually
there was fighting between that Taliban and the government in the same vicinity
as where Malala was schooled and lived. After the BBC blog ended Malala was
approached to be in a documentary. After that in May the Pakistani army was moving
in to get back their control. Through this Malala and her family was displaced
and separated. While her father went to Peshawar. She was sent to live with her
country relatives. Though this time is when she swore to become a politician.
As Malala rose in popularity and became more famous the
danger she was in multiplied. She was constantly getting death threats and
eventually she was shot by a Taliban agent. She was shot with a bullet that
went through her head to into her shoulder. This resulted in her being put in a
coma. She was flown to Germany to get medical treatment and in October she went
to the UK to get more treatment. In 2013 she finally woke up from her coma.
Continuing with her activism after her recovery she
performed a speech in from of the United Nations in 2013 she has met with many
rulers and important politicians like the queen of England and Barack Obama.
Bravely confronting Obama about his drone strikes in her home country of Pakistan.
On October 2014 she won the Nobel peace prize for the advocation of education
for children. At the tender age of 17 she is the youngest person ever to
receive the honor. Even through times of struggle and grief Malala rallied
through and is still to this day advocation for the education of her peers.