Malala Yousafzai

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Nearly 1,000 schools have been destroyed by the Taliban in Pakistan, depriving thousands of school children of an education. Malala Yousafzai lives in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, which in 2008 was controlled by the Taliban. She became a victim of the Taliban’s antagonism towards education for girls. But she defied the Taliban and with great courage and determination took a stand for the rights of girls to an education. Malala Yousafzai campaigns for equal access to education for boys and girls in Pakistan because she believes in gender equality. She has pushed her cause by blogging for the BBC, becoming chair of the District Child Assembly of Swat (DCA) and becoming the poster child for a United Nations petition on the subject.

Malala has used various media to raise awareness of the plight of girls in Pakistan and campaign for gender equality in education. Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, was a fiery education rights campaigner in his day and encouraged his daughter to take up his cause. He instigated his daughter’s involvement with the BBC blog, from which she would gain recognition.
Feryal Ali Gauhar, the Pakistan’s McGill-educated former UN ambassador, described Malala and her blog as “The lone voice in that wilderness; hers was the voice which made us consider that indeed, there can be alternatives, and there can be resistance to all forms of tyranny... Her diary, published on the BBC Urdu service website, testifies to the fact that all is not lost, that there are still amongst us those who can stare the enemy in the eye and resist the brute force with which all things rational and sane have been threatened.” (Express Tribune)
The blog was an international platform from which she could raise awareness of her cause. For every person that saw the blog, the issues that Malala was talking about rose in prominence in their mind as she wrote about it. Every time she wrote on her blog, she fostered awareness of the issues she and her classmates faced.

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