Despite globalization and urbanization, women lack education in various nations of the world. Educating a girl is no less than educating an entire family. There are various governments, organizations, and global personalities supporting women’s education and empowerment throughout the globe and Malala Yousafzai is one of them. Do you know her story? Have you heard of Malala Day before? Here is everything you need to know about Malala Day!
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Who is Malala Yousafzai?
Malala Yousafzai is an education advocate and at the age of 17 in 2014 she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban. She was born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora located in Pakistan in the country’s Swat Valley. Her hometown was a popular tourist spot which was known for its summer festivals. The area began to change as the Taliban tried to take control of it. She became an advocate for girl’s education when she herself was still a child which resulted in the Taliban issuing a death threat against her.
On her 16th birthday, she traveled to New York and spoke at the United Nations. In 2013, TIME Magazine declared Malala one of the world’s most influential and inspiring persons. After a year, Malala was named a Nobel Peace Prize winner. With this prestigious honor, Malala has also received the United Nations Human Rights Prize and The Liberty Medal. Later Malala began her studies at Oxford University. She currently resides in Birmingham and continues to fight for women’s empowerment and education.
“I raise up my voice not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
What is Malala Day and Why is it Celebrated?
The UN has designated July 12, which is Yousafzai’s birthday, Malala Day in honor of the young woman who has been a prominent activist for female education since her early teens. As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai was not allowed to go to school. But She refused to stay home and spoke out for education and was almost killed for standing up for her beliefs. To this day, Malala continues to work to ensure that every girl around the world has the chance to go to school.
Yousafzai was born to a Pashtun Yousafzai family in Mingora, Pakistan. Her family came to run a chain of schools in the region. Malala and her family shifted to Birmingham, United Kingdom, after the attack to help her get her medical treatment. Since then her entire family has settled in Birmingham, fearing backlash from radical groups in Pakistan. In spite of witnessing so much pain and trauma, Malala continued with her crusade and advocated the importance of education for all girls and women.
The chance to learn more about Malala’s and other young activists’ work is provided through Malala Day, which is a wonderful opportunity for businesses, educational institutions, and individuals. In addition to We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories From Refugee Girls Around the World (2019), Malala is the author of numerous other books, including I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up (2014), Malala’s Magic Pencil (2017), and Malala’s Magic Pencil. “He Named Me Malala,” a 2015 documentary, chronicles Malala’s life from her 2013 UN address onward.
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“Once I had asked God for one or two extra inches in height, but instead he made me as tall as the sky, so high that I could not measure myself.”
Malala Day was founded as a tribute to Malala Yousafzai, but as she has emphasised, it also serves as a day to celebrate the struggle for universal access to education. Malala Day celebrated on July 12 is significant for Malala Yousafzai. Except for her birthday, it is also the day she spoke at the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education in 2013. After that day, the UN observed July 12, Malala Day. During her address, she said, “Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy, and every girl who has raised their voice for their rights.”
Honors and Awards
Apart from having Malala Day named after her, Malala Yousafzai has received multiple honors and awards. Here are some of her major accomplishments:
- International Children’s Peace Prize nominee for the first time in 2011
- Received National Youth Peace Prize in 2011
- Anne Frank Award for Moral Courage in 2012
- Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice in 2012
- Simone de Beauvoir Prize in 2013
- One of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World 2013
- Annual Award for Development of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) 2013
- A portrait of Yousafzai by Jonathan Yeo was displayed at National Portrait Gallery, London in 2013
- International Children’s Peace Prize 2013
- Clinton Global Citizen Awards from Clinton Foundation 2013
- Harvard Foundation’s Peter Gomes Humanitarian Award- Harvard University 2013
- Honorary Master of Arts degree by the University of Edinburgh 2013
- Pride of Britain 2013
- GG2 Hammer Award at GG2 Leadership Award 2013
- International Prize for Equality and Non-Discrimination 2013
- Honorary Life Membership by the PSEU (Ireland) 2014
- Honorary Doctor of Civil Law, University of King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 2014
- Nobel Peace Prize 2014, shared with Kailash Satyarthi
- Honorary Canadian citizenship in 2014
- Asteroid 316201 Malala named after her 2015
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- The audio version of I am Malala gets Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album 2015
- Honorary President of The Students’ Union of the University of Sheffield 2016
- Youngest ever United Nations Messenger of Peace 2017
- Received honorary doctorate- University of Ottawa 2017
- Wonk of the Year 2017- American University 2017
- Advisor to Princess Zebunisa of Swat, Swat Relief Initiative Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey 2018
- Malala Yousafzai Elementary School opened in Fort Bend County, Texas in 2020
How to Observe Malala Day?
There are various ways in which you can participate in Malala Day, some of them are as follows:
- You can read and learn about the countries like South Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Liberia where it is very tough for girls to get a basic education
- You can donate to the Malala Fund –https://malala.org/
- You can also watch the documentary – He Named Me Malala
- You can also listen to the Grammy-winning album “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World”
- You can read Malala’s book – I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot.
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
Ans: The reason July 12 is designated as International Malala Day is because on that day in 2013, when she was 16 years old, Malala made a powerful speech at the United Nations headquarters about increasing access for women to education globally and urging political leaders to reform their policies.
Ans: The United Nations declared July 12 as Malala Day to honor Malala Yousafzai, who became a national symbol of the girl’s rights for education.
Ans: She was just 15 year old when she survived an assassination attempt.
This is all about Malala Day. We hope this blog motivates you to contribute to girl education and women empowerment. For more such informative content, follow Leverage Edu!