International Malala Day 12th July 2017

Malala is known around the world for her heroic and brave recovery after being shot by the Taliban for promoting girls’ access to education in her native Pakistan. She’s also won a Nobel Peace prize for continuing to advocate for girls’ education around the world. And it’s because of these accomplishments that July 12 is officially Malala Day.

Malala Yousafzai, named by her father Ziauddin after Pashtun heroine Malalai, was born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, a small town in the Swat District of northwest Pakistan. 

Ziauddin was a known advocate for education in Pakistan and became an outspoken activist against the Taliban’s efforts to restrict girls’ access to school. Taking after her father, Malala became a passionate advocate for education for women and children around the world. 

In 2009, she began writing about her fears of militants for the BBC under a pseudonym. This led to death threats sent to both Malala and her father, but it did not stop them from fighting for the right to learn. In 2011 she received Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize.

Once Malala’s identity was revealed, the Taliban voted to kill her. On her way home from school one October afternoon in 2012, Malala’s school bus was stopped by the Taliban. It was then that Malala was called out by name and shot in the head — but she survived. The shooting made headlines around the world and led to protests across Pakistan. Pakistan eventually guaranteed education for girls under the Right To Free and Compulsory Education Bill.

In 2013, the Malala Fund was established, and in 2014, Malala was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Malala is a big deal — her bravery has made a lasting impact on this world and inspired thousands, if not millions, of others to stand up for girls’ right to education. Which is why on July 12, we celebrate Malala Day. Not only is it her birthday, but it’s also the date she delivered a speech at the UN about global education in 2013. This was her first public appearance after the shooting, and is also the day the UN officially declared the first-ever Malala Day. 

But Malala insists, “Malala Day is not my day.” Instead, she dedicates this day every year to help make the world a better place for all men, women and children in the world. 

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