International Women’s day took place earlier this week.It was a great opportunity to thank all the amazing women who inspire us every day,our friends, family, neighbours and our role models. One woman who really deserves recognition for bringing pride to girl kind everywhere is Malala Yousafzai.
Aptly named Malala after the folk tale ‘Malalai of Maiwand’.The story tells of a woman who boosted morale in the native troop by taking the place of a deceased flag bearer, waving her veil in the air instead. It seems that Malala herself was born to stand up and take charge. In the face of adversity, this young woman’s story is history repeating itself.
Shot in the head by the Taliban for simply attending school in 2012, Malala not only survived,she’s went on to become one of the youngest winners of the Nobel Peace Prize (2014), and is regarded as one of the most influential people of her time.
Malala was only fifteen when she was attacked.It puts a major perspective on our own teenage years in school, in which most of us were probably wishing we were somewhere else. Or perhaps being scolded for simply chatting too much in class.
In the years leading up to the incident, Malala was the secret source of a blog, written for the BBC. Her identity was only revealed as a young girl caught under Taliban occupation while she posted her opinions on education for girls in her home town.She rose into prominence after this and spoke out further.Receiving one of her first awards, the International Children’s Peace Prize.
Though Malala’s previous life may seem ‘miles away’ to our own, in a world where we simply don’t need to think twice. Opportunities such as about being able to attend school do not cross our minds.However it’s important to recognize the similarities we have too.
Malala’s passions, dreams and ambitions are just as strong as any other girl,the difference being the great oppression that women in third world countries face, over simply wanting to attend school. Malala is teaching an important lesson; that we must all raise our voice if we, as women, feel the need to.
Inequality is still ripe in today’s society, and even in a society as developed as our own we still seem to face a level of inequality. From our pay rates, to our treatment and through stereotyping. Though admittedly, our culture is substantially different to that of Afghanistan’s.
Nonetheless, we should all take Malala’s lead, overcoming our adversities and turning them to advance our own cause and wellbeing. This, for me, is one defining attribute of a modern woman; an ability to define oneself through our achievements in the face of hardship. In a world where a keyboard is a more effective weapon than a gun, we all have the power to defend and stand up for what we believe in, and for what we deserve.
Watch He Named me Malala on Sky In Demand