Malala Yousafzai Biography

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani women’s rights activist and the youngest-ever Nobel laureate. This biography of Malala Yousafzai provides detailed information about her childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: July 12, 1997

Nationality: Pakistani

Famous: Quotes By Malala Yousafzai Women's Rights Activists

Age: 22 Years, 22 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Cancer

Also Known As: Gul Makai,

Born in: Mingora

Famous as: Youngest Nobel Laureate

Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Females


father: Ziauddin Yousafzai

mother: Tor Pekai Yousafzai

More Facts

education: Edgbaston High School

awards: Nobel Peace Prize (2014)
Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (2013)
Simone de Beauvoir Prize (2013)

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Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani women’s rights activist who became the youngest ever person to be awarded the Nobel Prize when she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 jointly with the Indian activist, Kailash Satyarthi. The young lady is mainly known for her advocacy for female education in her native Swat Valley, in Pakistan. Born into a family of progressive thinkers and educationists, Malala started expressing her frustration over the restrictive practices of the Taliban in an anonymous blog when she was just 11 years old. Very mature and intelligent for her young age, the pre-teen courageously wrote about how the Taliban were attempting to control the valley and trying to prevent girls from going to school. Her blog gained much prominence around the world and she soon became popular as an emerging activist who campaigned for girls’ rights to education. Encouraged by her father to freely express her thoughts, she became more vocal in voicing her opinion of women’s rights to education. This angered the Taliban which issued a death threat against her and she was shot by a gunman when she was returning form school. The gutsy girl survived the horrific attack and retuned to activism even more determined than before.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • She was born on July 12, 1997 as the eldest child of Ziauddin Yousafzai and his wife Toorpekai Yousafzai; she has two younger brothers. Her family ran a chain of schools.
  • Her father, an educational activist, taught her Pashto, English and Urdu. Her father sensed early on that there was something special about Malala and encouraged her to think and express herself freely.
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  • She started speaking about education rights in 2008 when she was just 11 years old. She addressed an audience at a local press club in Peshawar and questioned the audacity of the Taliban to snatch away her basic right to education.
  • At the behest of her father, she began writing an anonymous blog for the BBC Urdu website under the pseudonym “Gul Makai”. The idea of a schoolgirl blogging about the Taliban’s growing influence in Swat was originated by Aamer Ahmed Khan of BBC Urdu.
  • To blog about the Taliban was a very risky decision, but Ziauddin Yousafzai himself insisted that 11 year old Malala do it. Her first blog entry was posted on 3 January 2009. She wrote about how fewer girls dared to attend school because of the Taliban, and how the Taliban had forced the school shut.
  • She continued writing when the school later reopened and she along with her friends could again attend classes as they did before. Then she gave her school exams and ended the blog in March 2009.
  • Even though she wrote the blog anonymously, her identity was later revealed and she became a popular teenage activist who was often called to give speeches.
  • Over the next couple of years she continued to gain in popularity, even receiving an award from the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Taliban was increasingly becoming agitated with this young crusader and she routinely received death threats.
  • When she was returning home from school on 9 October 2012, a Taliban gunman shot her in the head. The bullet went through her head and neck to end in her shoulder. Two of her friends were also injured in the attack.
  • She survived the shooting and received immediate treatment at a hospital in Peshawar and was later transferred to Birmingham, England for further care. Eventually she recovered and resumed her studies at the all-girls' Edgbaston High School in Birmingham.
  • Her ordeal with the Taliban and her miraculous survival led to an outpouring of support from all corners of the world, and helped her in furthering her cause.
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  • She gave a speech at the United Nation on her 16th birthday in 2013; The UN dubbed the event "Malala Day". The same year, her autobiography, ‘I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban’ was published.
  • She continues her activism with even more fervor and spoke at Harvard University and the Oxford Union in 2013. In July 2014, she advocated for the rights of girls by speaking at the Girl Summit in London.
Awards & Achievements
  • She was bestowed with Sitara-e-Shujaat, Pakistan's third-highest civilian bravery award in October 2012. In November the same year she was presented with Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice.
  • The Clinton Foundation presented her with the Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2013.
  • The European Parliament honored her with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2013.
  • She was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".
Personal Life & Legacy
  • She hails from a close-knit family consisting of herself, her parents and two younger brothers. She joked while receiving the Nobel Prize that she was probably the only Nobel laureate who still fought with her younger brothers.
  • This activist is the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Prize and the only Pakistani winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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How To Cite

Article Title
- Malala Yousafzai Biography
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Last Updated
- July 21, 2017
Malala Yousafzai

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