Who is she?
Malala defied the Taliban ban on girls’ education in her region and grew to international prominence when she wrote a blog about her experiences for the BBC when she was 11 years old. In 2012, she survived an assassination attempt, when a gunman shot her three times. The Taliban have reiterated their intention to kill Malala and her father.
In 2014, Malala was named the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy of children’s education.
Interestingly, Malala only recently declared herself a feminist – she told actress Emma Watson that it was the Harry Potter star’s speech at the UN launching the HeForShe campaign that changed her mind.
Why should we thank her?
For defying brutal extremists in their bid to restrict female access to education and being brave enough to defy assassination attempts and death threats. Malala has raised the profile worldwide of the issue of children’s (and particularly girls’) access to education.
“Extremists have shown what frightens them most: A girl with a book.”