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World Malala Day is observed annually on 12th July to honor Malala Yousafzai and also to honor women and children’s rights around the world. The day is to remember the young girl who was attacked for advocating education for girls and also to support her endeavor of making quality education accessible to girls around the world.
Malala has been an advocate for access to education for girls since age 11, when she began blogging for BBC about life under the Taliban’s rule in Pakistan using the pen name Gul Makai. The Taliban was deeply enraged by this and a Taliban gunman shot her on her way home from school, which left her critically injured. The family was forced to leave Pakistan and move to Birmingham, England, to keep her safe from the militant group. Despite the attack, Malala soon returned to the public eye and continued her advocacy for gender rights. She founded the Malala Fund, a non-profit organization to help young girls go to school and also co-authored a book titled “I Am Malala”, an international bestseller.
Malala Yousafzai was born in 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan to Ziauddin Yousafzai, a teacher who ran a girls’ school, and Toor Pekai Yousafzai, a homemaker. She has two brothers, Khushal Yousafzai and Atal Yousafzai. She started advocating for girl’s education and soon caught public attention from media across the globe. The Taliban, who were fiercely against education for women, hijacked her bus and shot her in the head and the neck. She was initially treated in Pakistan and then taken to United Kingdom for better treatment. After recovering, she has been fiercely advocating the need for changes in system to empower women. In 2020, Malala graduated from Oxford University in politics, philosophy, and economics.
World Malala Day History
On October 9, 2012, 15 year old Malala was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen on her way back home from school after she publicly advocated for the education of girls in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. On her 16th birthday, 12 July, 2013, Malala addressed young leaders of the world at UN headquarters in which she highlighted the need for worldwide access to women’s education and called the world leaders to reform their policies. She received several rounds of standing ovation for her remarkable speech. In honor of the young girl and to acknowledge her fight for education, the United Nations declared 12th July, which is also her birthday as Malala Day to support world education especially for girls.
Malala’s Top Quotes
Malala has given powerful speeches in several gatherings. Below are some of her powerful words which makes us marvel at the world’s youngest Nobel laureate.
- “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
- “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
- “Life isn’t just about taking in oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide.”
- “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
- “I think realizing that you’re not alone, that you are standing with millions of your sisters around the world is vital.”
- “Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.”
- “Our men think earning money and ordering around others is where power lies. They don’t think power is in the hands of the woman, who takes care of everyone all day long, and gives birth to their children.”
- “I am stronger than fear.”
- “I told myself, Malala, you have already faced death. This is your second life. Don’t be afraid — if you are afraid, you can’t move forward.”
- “There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.”
- “Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”
- “If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”
- “Extremists have shown what frightens them the most: A girl with a book.”
- When someone takes away your pens you realize quite how important education is.”
- “I don’t want to be thought of as the ‘girl who was shot by the Taliban’ but the ‘girl who fought for education’. This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.”
- “Some people only ask others to do something. I believe that, why should I wait for someone else? Why don’t I take a step and move forward?”
- “If we want to achieve our goal, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness.”
- “So let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty, and terrorism, and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.”
- “I speak not for myself, but for those without voice.”
- “A girl’s voice is powerful and it can bring change in the community.”
Malala’s Awards and Honors
- 2011: International Children’s Peace Prize nominee for the first time
- 2012: First ever National Youth Peace Prize by the Pakistan government
- 2012: Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice
- 2012: Anne Frank Award for Moral Courage
- 2013: TIME magazine declared Malala one of the world’s most influential and inspiring persons.
- 2013: Simone de Beauvoir Prize
- 2013: International Prize for Equality and Non-Discrimination
- 2013: Harvard Foundation’s Peter Gomes Humanitarian Award by Harvard University
- 2013: Clinton Global Citizen Awards from Clinton Foundation
- 2014: Became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
- 2014: Was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of Commons in Canada
- 2015: The documentary ‘He Named Me Malala’ was shortlisted for the Oscars
- 2017: Designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace by the Secretary-General António Guterres
- 2019: UN declared her as “the most famous teenager in the world” in its Decade in Review report
Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai founded Malala Fund in 2013 to champion every girl’s right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education. The aim is to create a more equal world by making sure all girls can go to school. Malala Fund believes that local educators and advocates provide the greatest insight, innovation and energy needed to address barriers that keep girls out of school in their communities.
World Malala Day 2022 Quotes
- “A chosen child. A powerful enemy. A flash of light. A forehead with a scar.”
- “Her actions are a symbol of what it means to stand up for your rights – with a simple demand to fulfil the basic human right to education.”
- “Malala has ‘…Courage with a big C’ “
World Malala Day Quiz 2022
Where is Malala from?
d) United Kingdom
Ans: b) Pakistan
Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize in _____________.
Ans: c) 2014
Malala currently lives with her family in ______________.
d) United Kingdom
Ans: d) United Kingdom
While addressing the ___________ Malala said “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
a) British Parliament
b) United Nations
c) White House
d) Pakistan Parliament
Ans: b) United Nations
In which year was Malala Yousufzai attacked?
Ans: c) 2012
World Malala Day is observed to make an appeal to world leaders that they ensure compulsory and free education for every child in their country.
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