Remember Her and Make a Move

Written by Aadhya Shrestha 15, Nepal

My world now is filled with sore eyes, half charged laptops and a bunch of assignments yet to be turned in. I spend endless hours trying to figure out what we did to have an online school. Every time I think about how much I hate school I always go back to the same story of a Pakistani girl who put her life in line to fight for education. Malala Yousafzai rose like a star, went through hell but never stopped and that has taught me to never give up.


Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Swat valley, Pakistan which was invaded by the Taliban; an extremist terrorist group. The Taliban stop girls from going to school or even roaming around in the village. They set outrageous rules and those who did not abide by them were murdered.1​ ​ Despite being in difficult situations Malala wrote a blog for BBC, made TV appearances talking about life under the Taliban, and asked world leaders to help restore the basic right to education for girls. In 2012, Malala got shot by a Taliban gunman. She was fifteen.2​ ​ At that point, most people would have given up but she never stopped fighting. She established an organization called the Malala Fund, dedicated to fight for equal rights and provide girls the opportunity to get an education. She became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Her unwavering commitment to improving girls' lives despite being attacked inspires many to do the same. She has never used the word “victim” in any of her conversations, just passion for change.

I come from Nepal and in most villages here, girls don't get to finish their education. People still believe that a woman's place is in the kitchen. Society expects women to give up their studies to care for their families. My role models have taught me the value of education. Education is key to overcome these obstacles in our societies and reach our full potential. The social norms and stereotypes of people are inscribed into the heads of the old generations keeping women accomplishing as much as men.3​ ​ A girl who has access to quality education will grow up to not just change herself but change the world. An independent educated woman will pave the way for the next generation of girls to a brighter future. I feel fortunate that I have the chance to receive a proper education without discrimination. Education transformed me to empower others but so many still do not have access to education.


Malala proved that one person can make a difference. Her efforts made an impact not only in Pakistan but the whole world. Someone so young was able to influence so many. Through her vision for change, she is an empowering light for billions of girls who aspire to achieve and lead a life that they can be proud of and that is the most powerful story I have heard. Malala has inspired a generation of young girls to advocate for education, to be the voice for those 132 million girls still deprived of education.4​ Many people think that Gen Z is too young to change the world. I believe that if there is someone who can, then it is us. Malala Yousafzai made a difference for thousands including myself.


1​ M. Yousafzai. Do not wear Colorful Clothes, Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl. BBC, 2009

2​ N. Rassool. Nobel Peace Prize: extraordinary Malala a powerful role model. 11 October 2015. https://theconversation.com/nobel-peace-prize-extraordinary-malala-a-powerful-role-model-3283​9 (Accessed 2020-12-29)

3​ N. Korostyleva, and L. Kovaleva. Gender Leadership as a social phenomenon, Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, Atlantic Press, vol. 217, 2018: pp. 1-2.

4​ Girls Education. UNICEF. 13 August 2019. https://www.unicef.org/education/girls-education#:~:text=Worldwide%2C%20132%20million%20girls% 20are,gender%20parity%20in%20primary%20education. (Accessed 2020-12-31)


References

Bonita, a young change-maker inspires girls and women in Nepal through education. UNESCO. 24 January 2019 https://en.unesco.org/news/bonita-young-change-maker-inspires-girls-and-women-nepal-through-educatio n (Accessed 2020-12-29)

Girls Education. UNICEF. 13 August 2019. https://www.unicef.org/education/girls-education#:~:text=Worldwide%2C%20132%20million%20girls% 20are,gender%20parity%20in%20primary%20education. (Accessed 2020-12-31)

Kathuria. C. Why Young Women Find Malala Yousafzai Inspiring. Shethepeople. 12 July 2018. https://www.shethepeople.tv/news/young-women-inspiring-malala-yousafzai-birthday/ (Accessed 2020- 12-29)

Korostyleva. N, and Kovaleva. L. Gender Leadership as a social phenomenon, Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, Atlantic Press, vol. 217, 2018: pp. 1-2.

Rassool. N. Nobel Peace Prize: extraordinary Malala a powerful role model. 11 October 2015. https://theconversation.com/nobel-peace-prize-extraordinary-malala-a-powerful-role-model-3283​9 (Accessed 2020-12-29)

What Inspires us about Malala. The Growth Faculty. 17 December 2018 https://www.thegrowthfaculty.com/blog/WhatInspiresUsAboutMalala20ofthebestanswers (Accessed 2020-12-29)

Yousafzai. M. Do not wear Colorful Clothes, Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl. BBC, 2009

0A61294D-22C4-47BE-A0E8-32B03561F5EC.png