As a child, Malala Yousafzai became a prominent advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan after the Taliban began attacking girls’ schools in Swat. In September 2008, she gave a speech called, “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” and then began blogging for the BBC under the pseudonym Gul Makai. However, her identity was soon after revealed.
The growth of Malala’s public platform and activism resulted in a nomination for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011. That same year, she became the recipient of Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize. Unfortunately, her accomplishments also put her at risk. In an attempt to silence her, the Taliban issued a death threat against her, and on October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Malala when she was traveling home from school.
Malala survived the attack, which only opened the floodgates for an even larger swell of support for the young activist. Though she is still considered a target for the Taliban, Malala has since given a speech at the United Nations, written an autobiography, and a documentary was released telling the remarkable story of her courage.
Today, we honor Malala’s courage to use her voice to stand up for women and girls everywhere, even when it put her in grave danger to do so. For more inspiring stories, click here.