As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 but survived. In 2013, Yousafzai and her father launched the Malala Fund, which works to ensure girls worldwide have access to 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
Malala is a staunch advocate for the power and importance of education “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world. I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds but our hearts and our souls.”
In 2018, the Malala Fund launched Assembly, a digital publication written by girls for girls, seeking to educate and inspire the next generation of female leaders. Malala, who was only 11 when she started blogging under the pen name Gul Makai, said she is so inspired by the stories girls tell her. “We’re hearing these powerful and inspiring stories from girls, not just the difficulties they go through, but how they overcome that,” Malala said. “these are the stories that inspire me and should inspire all of you because these girls are fighting each and every day for their right to education, for their right to quality education, because they know that their future is in their school.”
Malala spoke on the critical role the internet and electronics can play in women’s lives worldwide. “Sometimes you may not realize, but one electronic device can play a huge role in a girl’s life — allowing her to have access to information. Many women are not aware that they deserve equality. That it is their right to get education. That it is their right to be paid equally. That it is their right to be treated equally. They just are not aware. That’s just how they are brought up. They are told they are not equal. They are told ‘you don’t deserve to be outside and working.’ And we need to change that. We need to tell women that they deserve equal rights. That there are people who are standing with them, that there are institutions that are there to protect their rights, and that they should speak out. So, raising awareness is crucial for that, and hopefully we can use technology and your support and all the resources that we have to raise that awareness and ensure that women are empowered and girls are getting their education.”