Celebrating Malala Day
Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997. Her birthday is recognized around the world as Malala Day in support of her efforts to make sure all children have equal access to education. In Fall 2021, The Children’s Museum plans to open the world’s only permanent exhibit featuring Malala as she will become the fourth child to be featured in The Power of Children: Making a Difference®. Today—and every day—we celebrate Malala’s accomplishments and support her ongoing efforts around the world.
Malala grew up in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Because her father was a teacher, Malala learned early about how important it is to have an education—especially for girls. Unfortunately, a group of powerful people did not believe that girls should go to school. They shut down all of the schools for girls and banned girls from receiving an education. They did not believe that girls should receive the same education as boys.
This doesn’t sound fair, does it? Of course boys and girls should receive the same education. Boys and girls should be treated equally and given the same opportunities to learn. Accessible education is a foundation of a fully-functioning and civil society.
Photo via Getty Images
Malala kept learning
This discrimination didn’t stop Malala. She continued to go to school. She continued to speak out for girls’ right to an education. People tried to silence her. They threatened her. They threatened her family. Someone even shot her.
But Malala did not die. In fact, her voice became stronger because the world heard her remarkable story. Malala continued her education and she recently graduated from the University of Oxford in England—one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Her extraordinary courage continues to inspire people around the world.
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”—Malala Yousafzai
Today, Malala continues to use the power of her education and her experiences to empower girls around the world.
Malala’s mission is important. Due to poverty, war, and discrimination, over 130 million girls around the world cannot go to school. Malala has created the Malala Fund “to help give all girls the opportunity to learn and lead.” Through the efforts of the Malala Fund and other like-minded organizations, Malala believes we will see every girl go to school within her lifetime.
Credit: Alicia Vera for Malala Fund
Inspired by Malala
People around the world—grown-ups and children alike—have been inspired by Malala’s dedication and courage. She has helped remind everyone that girls should be given the same educational opportunities as boys. Everyone, regardless of gender, should be able to go to school. Everyone, regardless of gender, should be able to pursue their dreams. The world needs more women scientists, doctors, mechanics, engineers, politicians, pilots, architects, small business owners, photojournalists, first responders, lawyers, and other professions. This can only happen when girls have the same access to education as boys.
Once the new gallery opens, you’ll be able to enter Malala’s world. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Malala’s story and her mission to empower girls around the world. Let’s join Malala’s fight to build a world where every girl can choose her own future.