Herstory: Malala Yousafzai

Our world and the way it looks and works is the effect of actions taken by many people before. It goes with technological development, a sense of security, human rights, or equal access to many goods the world offers us. We are part of the change movement because although much has been done to improve the world we live in, there is still lots to do.

While we’re talking about women in history and their amazing (however too often forgotten) contribution to the world’s development, it’s always worth mentioning current times and amazing women who fight for a better future for all women around the world. They fight for freedom of choice, for equal rights and treatment. They fight, because although we live in an amazingly developed world, there are still places around the world, where people suffer from inequality and its consequences. Here we are with another, absolutely amazing woman who became a role model for many others, and by all of her actions, she was awarded a Peace Nobel Prize, becoming a global leader who inspires so many others – Malala Yousafzai.

Malala is a 23 years old woman, who dedicated her life to fighting for equal rights to education for everyone, because as a teenager she experienced closed schools and gender discrimination. When she was 12, the Taliban took control of her town in Swat Valley in Pakistan. The extremists said that girls cannot go to school anymore. For Malala and many other girls school and proper education were a chance for a better life. Like in many countries, lack of education still brings lots of damage and inequalities. Women, who were not provided with education in their childhood have less chance to decide about their future, to develop themselves, to start a career, and more likely to be victims of teenage marriages or women abuse. And women ARE and should be an equal part of the society, everywhere. However, because of the regime, girls were not allowed to go to school. Malala’s father, who was an educator and activist has always encouraged Malala to fight for her dreams and always stands by those who suffer and who need someone to make their voice loud.

On behalf of all girls, Malala started to speak – firstly by writing an anonymous blog and then by giving interviews and advocating for equal rights to education for all children in the world. Then she became a target for those who were not quite happy with her social activism. While she was going back from school, she was shot in the head by a masked man. After recovering, she needed to make a decision – she could live a quiet life in the UK, where her family moved, or speak out loud and be the voice of those who suffer. Therefore, she launched a foundation – Malala Fund, which mission is to provide all children with equal education opportunities. Besides that, she is actively involved in all actions which promote human rights with a big focus on refugees’ issues.

What makes Malala’s experience and attitude so special? I would say it’s not the fact that she raised a movement to fight for her and her friends’ education right or her passion for education or social activism. I believe that what makes Malala’s life such a blessing for all people around the world is the fact that she listens to people and that she wants to give this voice to people who suffer. No matter her very young age, she saw the pain in people, in the way they live and she dared to use all of her potential and bravery to help them. In her interview with Emma Watson, she asked the youth not to wait for the stage when they will grow up and be ready to make all those things they thought about and start up with all those ideas they/we have now, because now is the time to make and to be the change. I hope, living with such amazing examples of women around the world gives spirit and power to actually make the change and try our best to provide everyone with equal chances like the age of such development of human beings deserves. As Malala said, the goal hasn’t been achieved yet, so let’s do this!

Wiktoria Moritz

Sources:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKckKStggSY
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malala_Yousafzai
https://malala.org/malalas-story
https://malala.org/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T00TZkOMLZc

Featured image: Simon Davis/DFID Malala Yousafzai – Education for girls (22419395331).jpg

 

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