Malala Yousafzai is a living example of bravery and resilience. The 23-year-old is well known around the world for her work as an activist to empower women. She has not only worked for the women of Pakistan but everywhere around the world. She is a female educationist and is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize, winner.
Being the daughter of an educationalist activist, Mala was always inspired by her father’s work. In 2009, she wrote her first blog about her life during Pakistani Taliban occupation in Swat for BBC Urdu. She gained fame through interviews in print and television and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize at the age of 11-12 years.
Malala was shot in the head by an assassin in the year 2009. She was immediately taken to the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology in a critical condition. After the incident, Malala received an international outpour of support. The act was ordered by the Pakistani Taliban and they openly threatened her with a second attempt at her assassination. After this incident, the Pakistani Taliban was internationally denounced by governments, human rights organisations and feminist groups.
After recovering, she became a prominent activist for the right to education. She founded the Malala Fund in 2012 and co-authored I AM MALALA with Shiza Shahid. It became an international bestseller. At the age of 17, she became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.
Ever since then, she has continuously worked for the right to education for girls.
Adding to her latest achievements, the US Congress passed the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act on January 1, 2021. With the passing of this act, the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women will expand. It will enable them to receive higher education under merit and needs-based programs.
The bill has been passed by the US Senate and will now head to the White House for the US President, Donald Trump’s sign to turn into a law. The bill requires the US Agency for International Development to award at least 50% of scholarships a Pakistan based higher education scholarship program to Pakistani women, between 2020-2022. A range of academic disciplines and the current eligibility criteria have to be taken into consideration.
Since 2010, the USAID has awarded more than 6000 scholarships to young women to receive higher education in Pakistan. The bill further expands this program.
A petition was signed by more than 1,000,000 people calling on the government to enrol every boy and girl in primary education. The petition was under the name “United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education”.
She was featured as one of the most influential people globally for three years, 2013, 2014 and 2015. On her 16th birthday, the UN named the day as “Malala Day”. The same day she spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education. It was her first public appearance since the attack. She has received immense respect and support from everyone.
She continues to be an inspiration for thousands of girls around the world. Malala is yet to achieve a lot and improve uncountable lives. The world has a lot to learn from her. Her selfless contributions are heart-touching and never-ending.