The rights to education
Malala is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner to date
Malala grows up in Mingora, a town in northern Pakistan. Although girls don't usually go to secondary school in her culture, she does. Her father Ziauddin runs the school, going against tradition.
Girls are banned from school
When the country falls under the control of the Taliban in 2007, life becomes grim. Televisions and CDs are banned, women can no longer visit bazaars and girls cannot go to school. In 2008, 150 schools are blown up. Malala is angry and indignant: “My friends and I don’t understand what is so wrong about going to school. My father says that the Taliban are afraid of pens.”
During a peace march organized by her school Malala defends her right to education. She then appears on a BBC Urdu chat talk show. Malala: "I was really excited, because I knew that everyone in Pakistan could hear me, but that’s why I said: How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?" She then starts writing a blog for the BBC under a pseudonym. This gave many people hope.
Attacked for going to school
Thanks to her courageous blog and her voicing out for education, Malala is nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011. Her nomination makes her a symbol of education for girls. She is invited to speak in many places and received the lots of attention. On October 9th 2012 the Taliban attack and the fourteen year old Malala makes headlines worldwide.
To stop or continue
Malala and her family are taken to the United Kingdom, where she makes an amazing recovery from the attack on her life. In 2013, she receives the International Children’s Peace Prize in The Hague and is given a standing ovation. She feels acknowledged: “After the attack, I only had one option: stop or continue my mission. And I decided to continue. That’s the only way I can see it; even death supports my mission and I mustn’t be afraid anymore.”
A sign of hope
Malala is a sign of hope and a role model, particularly for girls. On her 16th birthday, she gives a passionate speech to the United Nations. She is heaped with awards and in 2014 she receives the ultimate honour, the Nobel Peace Prize.
“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
Supported by the KidsRights Care and Study Fund, Malala is getting ready to attend university. Malala has a strong drive to study.
Following the attack, Malala becomes a famous advocate for the rights of children, and particularly, for girls to be able to go school. In 2013, Malala and her father set up the Malala Fund. The aim of the Malala fund is to provide education for all children around the world. KidsRights supports Malala and her family to secure education or girls in Pakistan.
With the help of the International Children's Peace Prize Project Fund, five projects have been initiated in Pakistan aimed at girls education. This concerns nearly 7,500 children. Two of these projects were launched in close consultation with Malala and her family. 50 girls are being taught at a newly established evening school. After two years, the girls can continue their studies at a university or even become teachers themselves. When there are more female teachers, more girls can go to school.
“I want to live in a world where education is valued in every corner of the globe because no one is excluded from it.”
Malala is a founding member of The KidsRights Youngsters; a unique youth-led advocacy and awareness raising platform of the International Children’s Peace Prize winners, that aims to realise children’s rights, as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As leading young changemakers, they act locally, speak out to world leaders, influence policy, and engage children and youth worldwide.
Malala, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner to date
Malala is a role model for all young changemakers around the globe. As a strong education activist, she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December, 2014 with KidsRights’ long-time partner, children's rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi.
Malala supporting the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize nominees
In 2016, a record number of 120 nominated children were in contention for the International Children’s Peace Prize; their stories were boosted by KidsRights through social media, celebrating the power of children in every corner of the world.
Malala: “I strongly encourage everyone to read the stories of the brave children who are nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize 2016. They are proof that bravery and courage are not dependent on age. They demonstrate that anyone can act against violations of children’s rights and become a changemaker. They give us hope that change can happen.”