Born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history, winning the prize in 2014. She is known mainly for her human rights advocacy for education and women, mainly in her native province in Northwest Pakistan where the local Taliban have banned girls from attending school.
Helping fuel her passion for education, Malala’s family runs a chain of schools in the region. In early 2009, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban occupation, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls in Pakistan.
After gaining attention and beginning to become an influence, on the afternoon of 9 October 2012, while on a bus a gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired. One bullet hit the left side of her forehead, travelled under her skin through the length of her face, and then went into her shoulder, leaving Malala unconscious and in critical condition. Later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation where she improved greatly and is now fully recovered.
In recent years Malala has done much public speaking, furthering the advancement of education in Pakistan by sparking a petition that helped lead to the ratification of Pakistan’s first Right to Education Bill. Her influence in and passion for education has earned her a plethora of awards and has improved the lives of women in Pakistan.