Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai is the inspiration that we all need in today’s time. In a world where persistent inequalities in education cripple the lives of millions of women and girls, this 19-year-old girl in a move of extreme bravery stood up against Taliban gunmen in 2012 while advocating the right to education for girls in her native Pakistan. A shot to her head and neck set her back but not only did she survive, she continued to relentlessly pursue her education and her selfless work.
Nine months after the unfortunate incident, Yousafzai was invited to give a speech at the United Nations (UN) headquarters on the need for gender equality in education where she got a standing ovation. The day was July 12, 2013, also her birthday, where the teenager raised her voice against the terrorists and lamented the dire times she had to face in Pakistan. Today, July 12 is celebrated as Malala Day in her honour.
This young activist who has turned into a global symbol of resistance against fundamentalist forces recently completed her schooling in Britain, calling the moment bittersweet. On July 7, 2017, she took to Twitter to celebrate her accomplishment, “Today is my last day of school and my first day on @Twitter,” she wrote.
Her painstaking efforts towards the promotion of women’s education still continues through ‘Malala Fund’, a non-profit organisation, founded by her to help girls to go to school and raise their voices for the right to education. The teenager seems unfazed by all the awards and adulation she has received in the last five years. For those who don’t know, she even has a documentary called ‘He named me Malala’ based on her life which was nominated for Oscars 2015 but that’s secondary for the lady.
On Malala Day we take a look at a few inspiring quotes by Yousafzai:
1) Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.
2) When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.
3) It is very important to know who you are. To make decisions. To show who you are.
4) The Taliban could take our pens and books, but they couldn’t stop our minds from thinking.
5) We were scared, but our fear was not as strong as our courage.
6) If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?
7) 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.
8) With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism.
9) I raise my voice not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.
10) 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.