The Girl Who Stood Up for Education: Malala Yousafzai

Jyotshana Rani

4th Nov'20
The Girl Who Stood Up for Education: Malala Yousafzai | OpenGrowth

About the Authors

Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, the largest city in the Swat Valley in what is now the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. At a very young age, Malala developed a thirst for knowledge. But unfortunately, she had to drop out of school when Malala was ten years old, as the Taliban began to control the Swat Valley and quickly became the dominant socio-political force throughout much of northwestern Pakistan. Girls were banned from attending school, and cultural activities like dancing and watching television were prohibited. Suicide attacks were widespread, and the group made its opposition to proper education for girls a cornerstone of its terror campaign. By the end of 2008, the Taliban had destroyed some 400 schools. Determined to go to school Malala stood up to the Taliban.

Malala was 11 years old when she wrote her first BBC diary entry. She used the media and continued her public campaign for her right to go to school. Her voice grew louder, and she and her father became known throughout Pakistan for their determination to give Pakistani girls access to free quality education. Her activism resulted in a nomination for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011. That same year, she was awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize.

In October 2014, Malala, along with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, was named a Nobel Peace Prize winner. At age 17, she became the youngest person to receive this prize.




Read the biography of Malala

Malala developed a thirst for knowledge at a very young age. She wrote her first BBC diary entry when she was just 11 years old in which she described her fear of a full-blown war in Swat valley and being afraid to go to school because of the Taliban. Click here.

Christina Lamb 

Christina Lamb (born 15 May 1965) is a British journalist and author. She is the chief foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times. Lamb was educated at Nonsuch High School for Girls, Cheam, and graduated with a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford. 

In 1988, Lamb was awarded Young Journalist of the Year for her coverage of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. She has covered wars from Iraq to Libya, Angola to Syria; repression from Eritrea to Zimbabwe; and journeyed to the far reaches of the Amazon to visit remote tribes. She pays particular attention to issues such as the girls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Yazidi sex slaves in Iraq, and the plight of Afghan women.

In 2017, she was the first female former undergraduate of University College, Oxford to be elected an Honorary Fellow. The Fellowship was awarded in recognition of "her courageous, vivid and critically important journalism, as well as for her support of the College".

She has won 15 major awards including five times being named Foreign Correspondent of the Year and Europe’s top war reporting prize, the Prix Bayeux. She was made an OBE by the Queen in 2013 and is an honorary fellow of University College, Oxford.


About the book

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban is an autobiographical book by Malala Yousafzai, co-written with Christina Lamb. The book details the early life of Yousafzai, her father's ownership of schools and activism, the rise and fall of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in Swat Valley, and the assassination attempt made against Yousafzai, when she was aged 15, following her activism for female education.

The book has been divided into five parts: Part One covers Malala Yousafzai's life "Before the Taliban". She describes her childhood home at Swat Valley.

Part Two, "The Valley of Death", details the rise of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in Swat. Part Three is entitled "Three Bullets, Three Girls". Part Four is named "Between Life and Death" which describes her fight for life after she was shot. 

And Part Five is called "A Second Life" which carries her story in Birmingham. 

According to Publishers Weekly, in 2017 the book had sold almost 2 million copies, and there were 750,000 copies of the children's edition in print. In March 2018, The Bookseller reported that 328,000 copies of the book had been sold in the UK, netting over £2.47 million.

I Am Malala is the extraordinary tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism. It is the story of the fight for girls' education, of a father who encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that adores sons.


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Malala Yousafzai Journey

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist who spoke out against the prohibition on girls' education imposed by the Taliban. Read her journey from surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban at the age of 15 to getting the Nobel Peace Prize. Read more


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Jyotsana is very keen to express her views on new topics and wants readers to remember her through her writing. She is passionate about reading and believes that words wield the power of changing the scenario and she uses them to encourage people to the best of her knowledge.