About Malala Yousafzai
Malala is honored with the 2013 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards' Global Trailblazer Award:
Long before the October 2012 attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai shocked the world, the teenage blogger from Swat Valley, Pakistan, came to public attention by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban. In her blog, using the pen name Gul Makai, she often spoke about her family’s fight for girls’ education in her community.
Malala Yousafzai (smiling in foreground)
Her courage in speaking out about life under the militants' rule earned Malala respect and commendation. The New York Times followed her posts, and produced a documentary film chronicling her efforts and those of her family, to advance the cause.
Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father, ran a school in their homeland of Swat Valley, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Ziauddin has been a great advocate and activist for educational change in Pakistan for many years and speaks with passion and dignity, saying:
“Malala and all other female human rights activists must be heard seriously and sincerely. If today, their voice goes unheard, then coming generations will go without basic human rights and sublime values which men and women have been striving for centuries to achieve. We can’t compromise on the peace and prosperity of our future generations.”
In recognition of her courage and advocacy, Malala was honored with the National Peace Prize in Pakistan in 2011 and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in the same year. She has now been formally nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and other honors.
We honor Malala's vision through the Malala Fund, to support the education and empowerment of girls in Pakistan and around the world.
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WATCH: Malala Yousafzai speaks for the first time since the shooting and announces the Malala Fund
WATCH: Malala Yousafzai Speaks Out, ABC News exclusive interview with Bob Woodruff
Banner image at top: Geoff Brokate and Kaye Martindale