Women’s History : Malala Yousafzai

“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.”

“Malala” was a name that everyone knew of in the early 2010’s. Malala Yousafzai was known as the girl that was shot by the Taliban on her way home from taking an exam, and lived, but she was much more than that – before and after the horrific incident.

Yousafzai was born in 1997 in the Swat District of northwestern Pakistan. She lived with her parents, her two brothers, and her two chickens, and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, was a particularly huge influence on her. As a school owner, he taught her many things, including politics. He let Malala stay up later than her brothers to discuss politics with him, which led to her speaking publicly about political topics. These topics mainly focused around educational rights, and she became politically active at the age on 11. Her political activism is what influenced others to begin sending her death threats, and the Taliban ultimately agreed to end her life.

The world was outraged on her behalf after the incident with the Taliban and people around the world had heard her story. The attack did not scare Malala into backing down. After healing from her many surgeries, she continued to speak about the causes she felt passionate about, and now they were met with a much larger audience. On October 10, 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the youngest , and only the second Pakistani, Nobel laureate.

Warner Library has Malala’s autobiography, as well as Malala’s Magic Pencil, a children’s book also written by Malala. Both books are available for check out to members of Eastern University.

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