Malala Day 2021: What is Malala Day, why is it celebrated? Date, significance, history & other details
The United Nations designated July 12 as Malala Day to honour the young woman who has been a prominent activist for female education since her early teens.
Malala Day 2021: The International Malala Day is observed on July 12, on the birthday of the young activist, Malala Yousafzai. The United Nations had designated July 12 as Malala Day to honour the young woman who has been a prominent activist for female education since her early teens.
As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai was not allowed to go to school as the Pakistani Taliban had banned girls from going to school. However, the young girl refused to stay home and publicly advocated for the right to education for girls from as early as September 2008.
As Malala Yousafzai became more recognised, the dangers facing her increased and she received numerous death threats.
• 0n October 9, 2021, Malala was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen as she rode home on a bus after giving an exam in Pakistan's Swat Valley. She was shot with one bullet, which travelled 18 inches (46 cm) from the side of her left eye, through her neck and landed in her shoulder. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack, Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, both of whom were stable.
• Following the shooting, Yousafzai was airlifted to a military hospital in Peshawar, then later was moved to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi. Yousafzai was later flown to the United Kingdom for further treatment, She was treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with the Pakistani government bearing all costs of transportation, treatment and accommodation.
• She came out of her coma on October 17, 2012 and was finally discharged after multiple surgeries on January 3, 2013. Despite her gruelling attack, Malala soon returned to the public eye, fiercer in her views than before and continued her advocacy for gender rights and girls education.
• She founded the Malala Fund, a non-profit organisation in 2013 along with her father to ensure free, safe, quality school education for girls around the world.
• She also co-authored her autobiography titled “I Am Malala”, which is an international bestseller.
• Malala Yousafzai also published a children's picture book about her life experience in October 2017, which was titled-'Malala's Magic Pencil.'
• She also wrote another book about herself and the refugee girls she met in her campaigns. The book titled, 'We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World', was published in 2018.
Malala Yousafzai has received numerous national and international honours over the years, some of which are listed below:
• Malala Yousafzai jointly won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi, a children's rights activist from India. At 17 years, Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel laureate.
• She is the second Pakistani national to receive a Nobel Prize after Abdus Salam who won Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.
• She also won the International Children's Prize in 2013.
• She won the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice in November 2012.
• She won the Simone de Beauvoir Prize, an international human rights prize for women's freedom, in January 2013.
• The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in October 2013.
• She also won the Harvard Foundation's Peter Gomes Humanitarian Award in September 2013.
• Yousafzai was honoured with the Anna Politkovskaya Award – Reach All Women in War in 2013. The award has been constituted to remember and honor the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya (1958–2006), who was murdered in Moscow on 7 October 2006 to silence her reporting about the war in Chechnya.
• She also won the International Prize for Equality and Non-Discrimination in 2013.
• She was appointed as the UN Messenger of Peace by the United Nations in April 2017. She became the youngest-ever to hold the post.
• She was also awarded an honorary Canadian citizenship in April
Malala Day History
Malala Yousafzai gave a speech at the United Nations headquarters on the need for worldwide access to women's education on her 16th birthday, on July 12, 2013. During her speech, she laid emphasis on women's rights and education, calling world leaders to reform their policies.
The speech gained several rounds of standing ovations and UN declared the day as Malala Day to honour the young activist. The address took place nine months after she was shot by the Taliban.