On 12 July, 2013, just 9 months after being shot by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai turned 16 years old. To make the day even more special, the extraordinary teenager also spoke in front of the United Nations General Assembly. Her speech embodied her absolute belief in the emancipating role of education in children’s lives and how every child should be able to access education.
The United Nations representatives were so captivated by Malala’s passion and activism for girl’s education that the UN announced the creation of ‘World Malala Day’ that would be held on the 12th July every year – a day that would raise awareness on the right to education, particularly of girls.
While education may seem more like a basic part of growing up in more developed regions, it is not necessarily viewed in the same way in many parts of the world. Malala’s childhood in Swat Valley, Pakistan represents this reality. However, there are many more girls around the world like Malala who have experienced the same restrictions on basic human rights. That is why Malala Day is such an important date to celebrate! It is not simply a day to celebrate the life of Malala, but a day that helps to make more people aware of this inequality. Malala Day places significant value on education and every child’s right to access it.
To understand Malala’s brave and inspiring journey so far, read this Tell History timeline below: