The International Malala Day is celebrated on 12 July on the occasion of young activist Malala Yousafzai’s birthday. The United Nations designated this date to be marked as Malala Day to honour the young woman who has been advocating for female education.
The day is used as an opportunity to appeal to the world leaders to ensure compulsory and free education for every child.
Who was Malala Yousufzai?
Malala Yousufzai was born in Mingora, Pakistan in 1997. She began advocating for women's education in 2008. Aware of the fact that the Taliban - for decades - has been against women’s education, Yousafzai continued with her social work and advocacy for women education. Yousafzai even highlighted how life was under the Taliban.
She soon caught attention from media across the globe and gave a number of interviews to newspapers and television channels. In 2012, she was attacked by the Taliban.
On 12 July 2013, the 16-year-old Pakistani activist delivered a moving speech at the headquarters of United Nations. She focused on the need for worldwide access to women’s education and appealed the world leaders to bring changes to their policies.
The teenager was widely appreciated for her remarkable speech. Since that day was her birthday, therefore the UN promptly declared that the day will now be celebrated as ‘Malala Day’ to honor the young activist.
Here are the interesting facts about Malala:
- At the age of 17 years, Yousufzai was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize since it came into existence in 1901.
- In 2009, Malala Yousufzai started blogging about living under Taliban rule for the BBC. She later became a national figure in her country, appearing on television advocating for girls' education.
- In 2012, Yousufzai was aboard a bus, campaigning for girl education in Pakistan, when the Taliban reportedly hijacked the vehicle and singled her out, shooting her in the head and the neck.
- In 2015, an asteroid was named in honour of Yousufzai.
- In 2018, the activist joined the Oxford University to study Philosophy, Economics and Politics
- She had plans to become a doctor but has now taken an interest in politics.
- Due to the violent assassination attempt on Yousufzai, Pakistan announced the creation of the first Right to Education Bill.
- The activist was designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2017 by the Secretary-General António Guterres.