What do Pakistanis think of Malala Yousafzai?

Malala Yousafzai - female rights activist

At the age of eleven, Malala Yousafzai began campaigning for the rights of women and children. She was then shot in her home country of Pakistan. You can read here how Malala is doing today and what she's doing

Wanted poster: Malala Yousafzai

  • Life data: born on July 12, 1997
  • Nationality: Pakistani
  • Quote: "I raise my voice - not to scream, but to speak for those who have no voice."

Malala Yousafzai attracted attention at the age of eleven. She kept a blog diary for the website of the British TV broadcaster BBC, in which she reported on the acts of violence committed by the Taliban (a terrorist group)

How Malala Yousafzai lives

Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 in Mingora (Pakistan). Until she was eleven years old, she lived a normal life - by Pakistani standards.

But in 2007 the Taliban took control of Malala's homeland. Often linked to terrorism, this group of radical Islamists is suspected of being involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in the United States. The Taliban want to establish a state of God. For example, they want to ensure that women in public have to wear burqas (full-body veils), are not allowed to work and are no longer allowed to go to school from the age of eight. In Malala's home region, girls were also no longer allowed to listen to music.

This oppression of women, incomprehensible to the Western world, was the topic of the BBC's website. Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, proposed his daughter to write the Gul Makai (Cornflower) blog.

How Malala Yousafzai is changing the world

From then on, Malala used brief notes to describe how the Taliban oppressed the people for ten weeks. She told of suicide bombings, fear and grief, and especially of girls who were no longer allowed to go to school. Within a very short time she became famous worldwide: she appeared on television shows and gave interviews on the subjects of education and women. She was one of the few who dared to go public. At the end of December she received the Pakistani Peace Prize for her commitment.

But she was a thorn in the side of the Taliban. They wanted to calm the girl down. As a result, in October 2012, they stormed a bus with Malala in it and shot her. Malala was seriously injured and most recently had to be treated in a specialist clinic in the UK.

But the terrible attack backfired for the Taliban anyway: It helped the young freedom fighter to become even more famous. Since then, Malala has been a symbol of freedom and education for women around the world.

Now she's on her feet again. Malala chose Birmingham, UK, as her new home and has been back to school there since March 2013. She was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She has already won the international Children's Peace Prize. And the United Nations honored her with a speech on July 12, 2013, her 16th birthday. In 2014 Malala even received the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2017 Malala Yousefzai was appointed UN Ambassador for Peace. At only 19 years of age, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in the world is now the youngest UN Ambassador for Peace worldwide. On April 10, 2017, the UN Secretary General António Guterres awarded her the title at the United Nations.