By Nahomi Sanchez
International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to honoring all the women throughout each generation and for all they have done. Over the years, women have made a difference in the world, no matter what the age or the ethnicity. A young woman named Malala opened our eyes to the lack of education in the world and what she’s willing to do to get this education.
Malala Yousafzai, born in Pakistan, loved spending time with her family, friends, and attending school. She had a beautiful life until the Taliban arrived to her hometown of Swat Valley. At first, they arrived under the pretense of bringing order to Swat, but it wasn’t long before they showed their true colors, banning music and television, not allowing women to go to the market, forbidding young girls from going to school, and ‘leaving women imprisoned to the 4 walls of their home’, Yousafzai commented on the Daily show in 2013.
Yousafzai wasn’t going to wait for anyone to make a change, so she took it upon herself to do something about the situation. Many people were afraid of the Taliban but 12-year-old Yousafzai knew the Taliban wouldn’t hurt a child. She wrote a blog to express how she felt about the lack of education and even made a documentary in 2009 called, “Class Dismissed: Malala’s Story” that aired on BBC.
Once the Taliban heard about Yousafzai, they sent her a death threat to silence her. Yousafzai was not worried at all. She didn’t believe the Taliban would be cruel enough to kill a child. But on October 9th, 2012, when she was just 15 years old, she was shot at point-blank range by the Taliban while on a bus on her way to school. She made a remarkable recovery and didn’t let the bullet silence her. It only made her stronger.
She had to relearn how to walk and talk again but Yousafzai continued to be an advocate for education. In 2013, she spent her birthday speaking at the United Nations, and in 2014 she won the Nobel Peace Prize becoming the youngest winner at 17. She has a website called “The Malala Fund” for those who would like to donate to “support girls secondary education program, fund global advocacy efforts, and help Syrian refugee girls get back into school.” Yousafzai is currently filling out applications for College and would like to study Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
Yousafzai didn’t let terrorists silence her, no matter the outcome. On International Women’s Day, women should be celebrated for all their accomplishments, which is what makes Yousafzai one of the most influential women of our generation and for generations to come.
Photos provided by:
Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons – cc-by-sa-3.
Southbank Centre [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons