Malala Yousafzai, the 17 year old Pakistani activist, will be receiving a Nobel Prize today for standing up for women’s educational rights. At such a young age, Yousafzai has gained recognition throughout the world. These are the ten things you need to know about her life and why she deserves to be a Nobel Prize laureate.

1.Malala was born in 1997, in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to Ziauddin Yousafzai, another educational activist, who runs a chain of schools for girls in the region.

 

2. At the age of 11, Yousafzai started writing blogs under a pseudonym, “Gul Makai”, for BBC that documented the life of women and girls like her, under the Taliban rule. Later documentaries were made on her life and she received world-wide attention for her efforts.

 

3. Following her achievements, she was awarded Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize in December 2011. At the event she announced that she wished to establish a national party to promote education.

 

4. On 9th October, 2012, as Malala was boarding the bus for school, an unidentified man fired three shots aimed at her, one of which was to her forehead. After remaining in a critical condition for days, following the incident, Malala recovered and continued to fight for her cause.

 

5. On 15th October 2012, when Malala was still recovering in UK, former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, started a petition in Malala’s name demanding that no child be left out of school by 2015.

 

[Picture Courtesy: Mashable]

 

6. Almost a year after the incident, on 12th July, 2014, Malala was invited to speak the United Nations headquarters. Her speech was extremely powerful and received praise from all corners of the world.  The UN later labelled the event “Malala Day”.

 

7. Malala has been invited to meet some of the greatest leaders in the world today, including U.S. President Barack Obama and the English monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

 

8. In October 2014, Yousafzai received the World Children’s Prize for the rights of the child in Marienfred, Sweden.  Following the ceremony, she announced that she will be donating $50,000 through the UNRWA, to rebuild 65 schools in Gaza.

 

9.Her first book, ‘I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban’, co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb, was published in October 2013. Where many praised her efforts, the book was banned by the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation for disrespecting Islam.

 

10. On 10 October 2014, it was announced that Yousafzai, along with Indian children’s activist h Kailash Satyarthi, will be receiving the Nobel Prize and will be sharing the prize money of $1.1 million. Today, she becomes the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.