Malala Yousafzai : The Girl Who Defied The Taliban To Go To School
The young girl fought her way through the treacherous grounds in Pakistan for her education. Taliban is a political movement, which is a major cause of conflict and unrest in Pakistan. Because of her stand, she was shot in the head but survived to fight for the right to education for girls and women rights.
Who is Malala?
Malala Yousafzai is a renowned Pakistani advocate. She is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner. This is after surviving an assassination attempt in 2012 because of her stand on education rights for girls, which is against the Taliban. Her boldness and consistency in fighting for girls and women led to her nomination for Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. She failed. She was nominated the second time in 2014 and managed to win the prize making her the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner across the world.
Taliban is an organized group of people with extreme Islamic views. Most of the people in Pakistan do not agree with their teachings but do not have an option other than to abide by the teachings enforced on the women and girls. Taliban is the main cause of unending war in the country with the government. Other forces including the United Nations have sent in troops to help the Pakistan government in managing the Taliban group. However, the country is still at unrest because Taliban is founded on religious beliefs where recruitment is easy.
Her survival triggered interest among various humanitarian organizations in the world. After the assassination attempt, she featured again in the United Nations with a moving speech. Later in 2013, she published her first book, I Am Malala.
I Am Malala
The book is a story of a girl who was shot dead while standing up for education. The autobiography was released in October 2013; it is now an international bestseller.
The Nobel Peace Prize
At 17 years, Malala is the youngest person to receive the award. Her bravery and commitment to fight for what she believes in even after the narrow death escape attributes to her growing popularity across the world.
Congratulatory messages were sent from every corner of the world after her win of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Pakistan Prime Minister was among the first to associate with Malala. Nawaz Sharif challenged other young boys and girls in the country to be at the forefront in pushing for what they believe in. The struggle and commitment of Malala is an inspiration to many children in the world as well as activists in holding on to their fights.
According to Ban Ki-moon, Malala is a gentle advocate for peace. The world has a lot to learn from the 21 year old through the simple act of defying Taliban and going to school.
The UN Speech
On July 12, 2013, Malala gave a powerful speech at the United Nations. The girl who had just turned 16 demonstrated her commitment to women’s rights and education. She specifically urged all leaders to change policies with regards to education and how women are treated in society. The speech came only nine months after the assassination attempt by the Taliban.
Malala’s bravery and commitment to changing the society with regards to women perception and education was evident in the speech. According to the 16-year-old then, the failed assassination built her strength, courage, and power to fight on. It was clear that nothing will change or stop her ambitions.
Besides, she urged world leaders to join her in fighting illiteracy. According to Malala, illiteracy is the source of poverty and terrorism in society.
The Taliban are afraid of pens and books. She says, education is the most powerful tool to fight such atrocities in the world. Young people are easily recruited in the Taliban because of illiteracy. “There is power in education,” Malala insisted.
Education is the most powerful weapon for women. The Taliban is afraid to lose the war against society if girls are enlightened at a young age. Their technique is to stop education hence rule Pakistan with benefit of illiteracy.
The speech at the United Nations largely contributed to her Nobel Peace Prize win in 2014.
After the exemplary speech at the UN on her birthday, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared the day as Malala day. This was to recognize the effort of the young Pakistan girl. Malala’s activism and leadership skills could be noticed at this tender age.
According to Ban Ki-moon, the day, July 12th should remind parents across the world of the importance of education. Also, teachers should not be afraid to educate. Malala’s sacrifice to speak on behalf of other children in Pakistan moved the world.
The Making of an Activist
Malala was attending a school founded by her father. It wasn’t long before Taliban’s attacks on girl’s schools became evident. Yousafzai gave her first speech in 2008 titled “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?”
She started blogging with BBC the following year on the same while using a pseudo name. However, she was later revealed thus growing her audience. She continued to speak against the Taliban. Taliban issued a death threat that didn’t seem real until 2012 when she was shot.