International Malala Day 2024- History & Significance

4 minute read
Malala Day

Every year the world unites to celebrate International Malala Day on July 12th. This day is observed in honour of the Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzi. Moreover, the day also celebrates the birth anniversary of a woman who dedicated her entire life to fighting for the rights of children and women. Apart from this, the International Malala Yousafzi day educates people around the world about the life, legacy, and achievements of this Pakistani education activist. Let’s learn more about the history and significance of this day. 

Name of the dayInternational Malala Day
Observed on 12 July
Reason To honour the achievements and tireless actions of Mala Yousafzi for women’s education and human rights worldwide.

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 travelled 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 honour, 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.

Source: Educational Vids for Kids!

History of International Malala Day

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.

  • The United Nations first celebrated the International Malala Day on July 12, 2013.
  • Apart from her birthday, it is also the day she spoke at the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education in 2013.
  • Since then, this day has been celebrated every year with great enthusiasm.
  • 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.”

Also Read: Malala Yousafzai, The Girl Who Took a Bullet for Education!

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 the 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 from 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
  • Generic Ambien
  • 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

Also Read: World Humanitarian Day: Celebrate Real Heroes

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 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 or people in need.
  • You can also watch films or documentaries about Malala, like 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.


Q.1. Why is Malala Day on July 12?

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.

Q.2. Who announced Malala Day?

The United Nations declared July 12 as Malala Day to honor Malala Yousafzai, who became a national symbol of girl’s rights to education.

Q.3. How old was Malala when she was shot?

She was just 15 years old when she survived an assassination attempt.

For more information about such informative articles, check the trending events page of Leverage Edu.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *