Women Empowerment: Malala Yousafzai - Love Happens Magazine

MALALA YOUSAFZAI (1997 – ) [1] [2]

Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, located in the country’s Swat Valley. She became an advocate for girls’ education when she herself was still a child.

She attended a school that her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, had founded. In September 2008, after the Taliban began attacking girls’ schools in Swat, she gave a speech in Peshawar, Pakistan. The title of her talk was, “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” She was 11 years old at the time.

Early the next year, she began blogging for the BBC about living under the Taliban’s threats to deny her an education. In order to hide her identity, she used the name Gul Makai. However, she was revealed to be the BBC blogger in December of that year. With a growing platform, Malala continued to speak out about her right, and the rights of all women, to an education. This resulted in the Taliban issuing a death threat against her.

On October 9, 2012, 15-year-old Malala was shot in the head by a masked gunman while on her way home from school. She was critically wounded and transferred to Birmingham, England, for treatment. Malala required multiple surgeries, including repair of a facial nerve to repair the paralyzed left side of her face. Fortunately, she had suffered no brain damage.

The shooting resulted in a massive outpouring of support, which continued during her recovery. The Taliban still considers Malala a target, but she remains a staunch advocate for the power of education.

In 2013, nine months after being shot by the Taliban, Malala gave a speech at the United Nations. She said that “the terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.”

In 2014, at the age of 17, Malala became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Today, she continues to speak out on the importance of education. Nothing is holding her back.

You may at times experience something of a serious nature. A stressful situation that makes you unable to carry on with your normal life. A broken bone, an illness, a move to a new home or a new job. When you recover from these stresses, relieved to have yourself back, you might gain a fresh look on life. You might find yourself spurred on to do something to make up for the time lost.

You, like Malala, might very well discover “strength, power, and courage“ you did not have before. You don’t have to be shot in the head to realize how valuable life is—to realize how you could make a difference. Like Malala, your life could become more purposeful—more meaningful.

Are you in a crisis situation? Do you feel as though there’s no hope for you? Ask God to help you find a way to turn the bad into something good. Trust God and open yourself to his leading. You may be surprised where he’ll take you.

[1] Malala’s Story – https://malala.org/malalas-story

[2] https://www.biography.com/activist/malala-yousafzai

This has been Part 25 of the series A Life Worth Living. Read Part 26 – Human Rights Violations