Malala Yousafazi has long been a champion for girls’ right to an education, and she has been persecuted for her views. When members of the Taliban swept through her hometown in northwestern Pakistan in 2009, the then 11-year-old Yousafazi spoke out about her desire for all girls to have the opportunity for a proper education in a diary that was published on BBC Urdu. In 2012, at the age of 14, she was shot in the head and neck by masked members of the Taliban.
At the time, Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesperson for the Taliban, confirmed that Yousafazi was indeed targeted for her views on education for girls.
“She has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it,” Ehsan told the New York Times. He added that if she survived, they would try to kill her again. “Let this be a lesson.”
Now, five years later, on the anniversary of the shooting, Yousafazi announced via Twitter that she has started her first classes at the University of Oxford.
5 years ago, I was shot in an attempt to stop me from speaking out for girls' education. Today, I attend my first lectures at Oxford. pic.twitter.com/sXGnpU1KWQ
— Malala (@Malala) October 9, 2017
“5 years ago, I was shot in an attempt to stop me from speaking out for girls’ education. Today, I attend my first lectures at Oxford,” she wrote in her post.
Now 20 years old, Yousafazi previously confirmed via the social media site that she would be studying philosophy, politics and economics at the esteemed university.
So excited to go to Oxford!! Well done to all A-level students – the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead! pic.twitter.com/miIwK6fNSf
— Malala (@Malala) August 17, 2017
In 2014, Yousafazi beame the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize. Along with fellow education rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, Yousafazi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her brave and tireless fight for all girls to have the right to an education.
“This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change. I am here to stand up for their rights, to raise their voice … it is not time to pity them. It is not time to pity them. It is time to take action so it becomes the last time, the last time, so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education,” she said in her acceptance speech.
We wish this fearless young activist all the best in her studies!