World Celebrates Malala Yousafzai As She Marks 26th Birthday In Nigeria 

Pakistani female education activist and the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, celebrated her 26th birthday on Wednesday, July 12, a day that has been recognised across the world as a tribute to her bravery and activism.

Malala took to social media to say that ten years ago when she spoke at the United Nations, she had no idea about the places that life would take her to.

She said, “Today I’m in Nigeria celebrating my birthday with girls, a tradition I started ten years ago. Since my first speech at the United Nations after surviving being shot, I finished my high school and graduated from university. I founded Malala Fund and travelled to 31 countries to meet advocates like me who are fighting to improve access to girls’ education. We have seen achievements and setbacks, but we keep fighting.

“At 16 years old, I couldn’t imagine what the next decade would hold – for myself or girls like me. But I was hopeful because I saw the world waking up to the injustices we faced.

“Today I can see the future more clearly – because I have met our future leaders. Girls and young women, like the ones in this photo, understand the power of education – and they are working to open the school gates wide enough for every child to enter. I know that if we match their determination, fund their work and follow their lead, we will see so much more progress in the next ten years. I’d love to hear how my words have inspired you to create a more equal world,” she wrote.

Malala also said that she had commited to spending the day with girls across the globe and the quest had taken her to Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil and Ethiopia, and to refugee camps in Lebanon, Rwanda and Iraq.

She said that the travel bans during the COVID-19 pandemic had put a hold on the commitment but it was set to resume again this year.

Malala, a fierce campaigner for girls’ right to education became prominent through her writings in BBC Urdu. She was shot by Taliban in Swat in 2012.

Since 2013, her birthday has been celebrated as International Malala day in her honour. A year later she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

She has since graduated from Oxford University and lives with her husband in Birmingham, England.

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