Malala Yousafzai: Girl’s Education Activist

Southbank Centre

Isabella Cerciello '24

Malala Yousafzai is one of numerous Wonder Women spotlighted in society today. Malala is a Pakistani activist who became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize, Laureate.  As exciting as that is, her inspiring story doesn’t start there!  She was born on July 12, 1997, and attended an all-girls school until 2008.  At this time, Pakistan stopped offering schooling opportunities to women which sparked a fire in Malala.

Malala’s questioning about schooling and voice in activism was provoked and in 2012 she held her first public speech.  As she spoke publicly, she talked about girls’ rights to learn and be given the same opportunities as men.  Unfortunately, this speech marked her as a target.  Later that year because of her newly found fame based on activism, a gunman shot Malala in the left side of her head.  She woke up ten days later in the hospital in Birmingham, England, and was informed that people around the world were praying for her recovery.

After all of Malala’s surgeries and lasting recovery, she moved into her new home in the United Kingdom with her family.  At that moment she was conflicted between keeping quiet to save herself from any more traumatic experiences or speaking out to fight for girls around the world so they could attend school.  Her decision became obvious, and in 2014, with the help of her father, she was able to create the Malala Fund- a charity dedicated to giving schooling opportunities to every girl.  Because of this charity fund, she was noticed by the Norwegian Nobel Committee and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at seventeen years old.

Now, Malala’s fund is still receiving donations that are put toward girls’ education and future opportunities.  Besides her growing fund, Malala graduated from the University of Oxford in 2020 after studying philosophy, politics, and economics.  This Wonder Woman continues to make a difference in girls’ lives all over the world on a daily and should be supported and applauded for all her dedication and hard work!