Malala Day, celebrated every year on July 12, is an important day in global activism as it celebrates the global icon Malala Yousafzai and raises awareness for women’s education around the world.
Malala Yousafzai is a humanitarian, a woman of peace, and both the youngest U.N. Messenger of Peace and youngest Nobel Laureate. She received the Nobel Prize at just the age of 17 in 2014. Today, she is celebrated every year for her activism and bravery.
This Malala Day, her birthday wish remains the same: for all girls to have the opportunity to go to school, to learn and to lead.
Born on July 12, 1997, Malala rose to prominence at a young age advocating for human rights, especially the right of women to have an education. Growing up, Malala lived with her parents and two younger brothers and was educated mostly by her father who is an educator and an educational activist.
In 2012, while returning from an exam, Malala Yousafzai and two other girls were shot by a member of the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan, a Pakistani fundamentalists group that often banned girls from attending school. This attack was later revealed to be an assassination attempt in response to Malala’s activism. Malala remained unconscious and in critical condition following the attempt on her life but later was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, U.K. where she eventually recovered.
“After months of surgeries and rehabilitation, I joined my family in our new home in the U.K.,” says Malala on her site. “It was then I knew I had a choice: I could live a quiet life or I could make the most of this new life I had been given. I was determined to continue my fight until every girl could go to school.”
In 2018, Malala began studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford and in 2020 she graduated amid the pandemic.
“I’m grateful that I was able to complete my education,” says Malala. “And every day I fight to ensure all girls receive 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
“I travel to many countries to meet girls fighting poverty, wars, child marriage and gender discrimination to go to school. Malala Fund is working so that their stories, like mine, can be heard around the world.
“With more than 130 million girls out of school today, there is more work to be done. I hope you will join my fight for education and equality. Together, we can create a world where all girls can learn and lead.”
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What you can do to celebrate Malala Day
Malala Day is celebrated globally by International human rights organizations, the United Nations, and other prominent global citizens. Here are some actions you can take to celebrate and support Malala’s cause.
The 2015 documentary “He Named Me Malala” chronicles the life of Malala Yousafzai. You can purchase it digitally or stream it on Amazon Prime.
I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.
The Malala Fund is set up to educate young girls by building networks of education advocates, holding leaders accountable, and helping to develop the next generation of young leaders.
You can donate to the fund in celebration of Malala Day.
Share on Social Media
Whatever you choose to do to celebrate Malala Day, use the #MalalaDay hashtag to join the conversation on social media and help spread awareness about Malala’s cause and education for women.
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