Often when we think of feminist icons we are transported back into the past, where the first and second waves of feminism produced countless feminist icons. However, there are still plenty of modern feminists who have equally achieved a great deal. Today’s blog post will be looking at the life of one of these modern feminists, namely Malala Yousafzai.
Malala was born in Pakistan in 1997, her early life was fraught with struggles as she had to deal with the Taliban occupation of her hometown. From an early age, she spoke about the importance of female education, criticising those who would deny her the right to study. At the age of eleven she would begin blogging for the BBC Urdu service describing her experience in Taliban-occupied Pakistan, her blogs highlighted the lack of females education and she became more vocal with her criticisms about being denied this right. By the age of thirteen, she began appearing on television advocating for female education, this would lead to her being nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in the following years. Tragically her advocacy for female education led to an attack by the Taliban which left her fighting for her life. Thankfully she recovered from the attack and has been able to carry on supporting female education. At first, she did not consider herself a feminist, however, after Emma Watson’s United Nations Speech in 2015, she said she had changed her views. Malala’s dedication to the cause of female education led to her being the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her hard work and determination in providing all females with the right to an education.
Not only is Malala a shining example of what advocacy can achieve, but she is also proof that standing up for your beliefs and what is right can bring about change for the better of everybody. Her determination and perseverance are inspirational and admirable, for Malala is what a feminist should strive to be.