International Malala Day is celebrated every year on July 12 to salute the Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai. Malala, who now works for women’s right to education across the globe, was never allowed to enter school as a young girl. But unlike many, Malala did not accept it and refused to stay at home. She raised her voice for education being provided to young girls and got nearly killed too for that.
Malala Day: History
The 16-year-old Pakistani activist, Malala on July 12, 2013, delivered an eloquent speech at the headquarters of United Nations. She highlighted the need for worldwide access to women’s education and called the world leaders to reform their policies. The teenager received several rounds of standing ovations for her remarkable speech. July 12 also marks her birthday, therefore the UN promptly declared that the day will now be observed as ‘Malala Day’ to honor the young activist.
Who is Malala Yousafzai?
Born in Mingora, Pakistan in 1997, Malala starting advocating women’s rights in education since 2008. She was well aware of the fact that Taliban, for decades, has been against women’s education. Malala had a blog about her life in BBC Urdu, this was during the Taliban occupation of Swat.
She soon caught public attention from media across the globe and gave numerous interviews in newspapers and television shows. In October 2012, the teenager was attacked by Taliban gunmen and was left critical. The Taliban had hijacked her bus and Malala was shot in the head and the neck. After initial treatment in Pakistan, she was sent to the United Kingdom for further recovery.
Nine months after being shot, on her 16th birthday, the fierce girl delivered a speech at UN headquarters.
Here are some interesting facts about Malala:
- Malala, at the age of 17 received Nobel Peace Prize and became the youngest recipient to receive it.
- After the violent assassination attempt at the teenager, Pakistan created the first Right to Education Bill.
- On 12 July 2013, Malala left everyone speechless as she spoke of “Every child’s right to education” in UN.
- To date, Malala has received over 40 awards and honors for her activism and relentless courage. University of King’s College awarded her with an honorary doctorate in 2014.
- When the young activist turned 18, she opened up an all-girls school for Syrian refugees. She called on the leaders from around the world to provide ‘books and not bullets’.
- Not many know that In 2015, an asteroid was named Malala.