Malala Yousafzai is a campaigner for the right to education, winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, and the author of the international bestseller I Am Malala, which has been translated into 40 languages and was the winner of the 2013 Specsavers National Book Award.
Born in 1997, Malala Yousafzai grew up in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan with her parents and two brothers. From the age of 10, Malala has campaigned for the rights of girls to receive an education. Using a pseudonym, Malala wrote a blog for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule and her views on promoting education for girls.
In October 2012, the then 15-year-old Malala was shot by the Taliban while travelling home from school on the bus with her friends.
Following the attack, Malala was flown to Birmingham to receive treatment at the specialist Queen Elizabeth hospital, and by March 2013 she had made a remarkable recovery and was well enough to return to school.
Now living in Birmingham with her family, Malala continues to campaign for the right of every child to go to school. Since the attack, she has become internationally known for her courage in refusing to be silenced and continuing her fight for the right of everyone to receive an education.
Malala’s bravery and unwavering dedication to her cause has seen her honoured throughout the world, including being named as one of ‘The 100 Most Influential People in the World’ in 2013 and 2015 by Time magazine. She is the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, the International Children’s Peace Prize, the 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award, the Premi Internacional Catalunya Award of Catalonia, the Simone de Beauvior Prize, The Oklahoma City Reflections of Hope Award and has been honoured with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award, the EU's Sakharov Prize for free speech and the Anne Frank Award. The audio version of her book Malala for younger readers won the award for Best Children's Album at the 2015 Grammy Awards.
Following the outpouring of support that Malala received throughout her ordeal, she set up an international fund – the Malala Fund – which is working for a world where all girls can learn for 12 years and lead without fear. The Malala Fund advocates for resources and policy change needed to give all girls a secondary education, invests in developing country educators and activists and amplifies the voices of girls fighting for change. Learn more at malala.org.
You can only admire her courage and determination. Her thirst for education and reform appear genuine. She also has an air of innocence, and there is this indestructible confidence. She speaks with such poise that you forget that Malala is 16 . . . [She]emerges as a passionate and humane person . . .
The Times on I Am Malala