Malala Yousafzai: a young women, student, feminist and human rights UN activist who dared to fight against gender inequality, who dared to let her voice be heard in even the most formidable circumstances. Two years after being shot in the skull by the Taliban for daring to dream of an education- but nine months later the activist began her international story with a UN speech that will echo through history, “And then, out of that silence came thousands of voices. … Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”
Malala continues to change the world and has rightful earned herself a title that has feminist activist cheering all over the world…
The first teenage to become a NOBEL PEACE PRIZE RECIPIENT 2014.
If Malala’s story is proof that feminism or a desire for equality is an must be a global fight through education and empowerment- with gender inequality not confined to one culture or religion. While movements such as #Idontneedfeminism may seem valid in some western countries, this is purely out of privilege. In some countries around the women are not permitted to listen to music, watch television, are banned from social places such as shopping areas and are given limited opportunity in relation to education- something that Malala faced as a young girl growing up in an area of Pakistan that the Taliban ruled. Her activism from a young age came at the cost of her nearly being killed, but her story brought to the world’s attention that negative implication women around the world face everyday- it brought to many individuals attention the relevance of feminism in the 21st century.
In the face of inhumane circumstances, her story has now become one of empowerment, strength and adversity. The self-proclaimed feminist proves through her heroic journey that giving women an equal voice and equality can help empower entire communities.
The debate of whether feminism is valid in the 21st Century often fails to take into consideration to circumstance beyond western boarder. As the Malala website reveals every three seconds a girl becomes a child bride, four out of five victims of human trafficking are women and 66 million girls are out of school. However this cycle can be broken and as Malala has made evident: progress can be made through AMPLIFYING voices of girls to keep them in the spot light on global issues and inspiring other women to do the same; ADVOCATING at international, national and local levels for policy and system changes and INVESTING in community resources and solutions to gender issues to help create more women leaders.
The Malala fund which invests in empowering women to stand up for their rights and believe in their dreams through education and beyond. Malala aims to bring awareness to the social and economic impacts of girls education and to empower women to raise their voices and demand change, demand a future where women only dare to dream for themselves, not out of fear of being killed.
The Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo today released a statement on Malala receiving the honour, with part of it reading: “Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzay has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education. The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism. Many other individuals and institutions in the international community have also contributed. It has been calculated that there are 168 million child labourers around the world today. In 2000 the figure was 78 million higher. The world has come closer to the goal of eliminating child labour.”
When Malala talked to US magazine Glamour, sharply powerful words transpired for the activist and shows the importance of Feminism in contemporary societal environments and discusssions: ‘”You can tell them a story from my imagination!” she said cheerfully. “When God created man and woman, he was thinking, Who shall I give the power to, to give birth to the next human being? And God chose woman. And this is the big evidence that women are powerful. Women are strong. Women can do anything. Come out and struggle for your rights; nothing can happen without your voice.
“Do not wait for me to do something for your rights. It’s your world, and you can change it.”
We can all be stronger than oppression, violence and fear. We can all stand up for the gender equality that Feminism helps to achieve. We all must join the fight to nuture young men and women equally so that both their dreams and ambitions becoming reality. Malala is proof of how one individual can change the lives of millions, who can inspire generations, who can be part of a social movement that brings peace, hope, unity and equality… Feminism.
We can all run the word.
Visit the Malala Fund website on more information on how you can help join to eliminate inequality: http://www.malala.org/