The youngest Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai is a blazing symbol of girls’ right to education. She has inspired millions of young girls and women to follow in her footsteps. Her courage and determination to fight against all odds for the right of education of girls has made the United Nations declare 12 July, her birthday, as the World Malala Day. She brought to the forefront the need to educate girls even in the most challenging situations. She has won international acclaim for her relentless advocacy of girls’ right to education. She has been featured by Time magazine in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as one of the hundred most influential people in the world. She is a testament to what one fearless person can achieve.
The Historical Perspective
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Malala was born on 1997 to a schoolteacher Ziauddin Yousafzai who always had been a strong supporter of parental discipline in shaping child’s future. In early 2009, she wrote a blog for BBC Urdu, detailing her life in the Taliban regime. A documentary was made on her by Journalist Adam E. Elick for the New York Times. As she gained prominence, she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by the South African activist Desmond TuTu. This did not go down well with the Taliban regime.
She continued to attend school and encouraged other girls from her village to do so too, despite being threatened by the Taliban. In October 2009, she was shot by Taliban on her way back from school. This incident was received with international outrage. She was later flown to the United Kingdom for better treatment and recovery.
Malala stepped up to be an ambassador for girl’s right to education and started her own foundation in the UK, which works for the right to education for girls. She makes it a point to impress upon people of the importance of educating girls, as it benefits all.
How Do They Celebrate It
Malala Day is celebrated all over the world as a day for children everywhere to raise their voices and be heard. It is a day to stand up against those who prevent children, especially girls, to rise to their potential by depriving them of education. Malala Day is to celebrate the bravery of one girl who refused to be intimidated by terrorists and fought for her rights. It is to inspire the oppressed all over the world that a strong belief in human rights can bring about a change in the world, and not to give in to the threats of oppressors. Seminars and conferences are held and last year an all-girls’ school was opened in Lebanon’s Beka valley by Yousafzai.
Special programs held around the world
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Malala has influenced people on a global scale to better the lives of girls. Even in an entitled society, girls face many challenges in school in the form of sexual and other harassment, aside from violence against women at home. In Britain, the End Violence Against Women coalition launched the SchoolsSafe4Girls campaign.
In India and other countries, the Teach for All organization has helped girls by forming a close learning community of girls and their parents which leads to better opportunities for the girls. The initiative instills girls with confidence to face the future and make something of themselves.
Corporations like Microsoft celebrated Malala Day in 2013 and the UN Youth Take Over Day by committing to provide opportunities to all young people through their YouthSpark initiative.
How people prepare for it
In honor of Malala day, various activities are organized. People show their solidarity by supporting Malala through Facebook and Twitter posts. Donations are given and funds are raised for her organization through FB and Twitter. People sponsor the education of girls on this day. It’s a day which is devoted to the cause of the girl –child.
UNESCO states that one in five girls of lower secondary age are not sent to school. As part of the UN’s Secretary General’s Global Initiative On Education Malala Day is organized. To support her, each one of us can do our bit to help – either by donating to her fund or by supporting the education of a girl.