Yousafzai at Girl Summit 2014
|Born||12 July 1997 (age 17)
Mingora, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan
|Occupation||Blogger and activist for rightsto education and for women|
|Known for||Female education activism|
Malala Yousafzai (Urdu: ملالہ یوسف زئی Malālah Yūsafzay, Pashto: ملاله یوسفزۍ [məˈlaːlə jusəf ˈzəj]; born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistaniactivist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize recipient. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy foreducation and for women in her native Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of northwest Pakistan, where the localTaliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement.
Her family runs a chain of schools in the region. In early 2009, when she was 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban occupation, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley. The following summer, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York Times documentary about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Yousafzai rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by South African activistDesmond Tutu.
On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, Yousafzai boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots. One bullet hit the left side of Yousafzai’s forehead, travelled under her skin through the length of her face, and then went into her shoulder. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital inBirmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her, but the Taliban reiterated their intent to kill Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai. Some Pakistanis believe the shooting was a CIA setup and many conspiracy theories exist.
The assassination attempt sparked a national and international outpouring of support for Yousafzai. Deutsche Welle wrote in January 2013 that Yousafzai may have become “the most famous teenager in the world.” United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a UN petition in Yousafzai’s name, using the slogan “I am Malala” and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015 – a petition which helped lead to the ratification of Pakistan’s first Right to Education Bill.In the 29 April 2013 issue of Time magazine, Yousafzai was featured on the magazine’s front cover and as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World“. She was the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.
On 12 July 2013, Yousafzai spoke at the headquarters of the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education, and in September 2013 she officially opened the Library of Birmingham. Yousafzai is the recipient of the Sakharov Prize for 2013. On 16 October 2013, the Government of Canada announced its intention that the Parliament of Canada confer Honorary Canadian citizenship upon Yousafzai. In February 2014, she was nominated for the World Children’s Prize in Sweden. On 15 May 2014, Yousafzai was granted an honorary doctorate by the University of King’s College in Halifax.
On 10 October 2014, Yousafzai was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. At age 17, Yousafzai is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. Yousafzai shared the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist from India. She is the second Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize and the only Pakistani winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; Abdus Salam was a 1979 Physics laureate.