Youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, turns 21
By Temitope Ojo
Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, turns 21 today.
She was born in 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan.
She’s spending the day in Brazil, doing what she’s done on past birthdays: speaking with girls who aren’t able to go to school.
“Every year on my birthday I travel to meet girls who are struggling to go to school – to stand with them and to make sure the world hears their stories,” she wrote in a post a few years ago.
In Brazil, she said, more than 1.5 million girls are out of school. “They deserve the chance to choose their own future,” she said.
At age 11, she went from an average Pakistani child living under Taliban rule to an outspoken advocate for girls’ education. By 15, she’d faced an assassination attempt that she was lucky to survive. And by 17, she’d become the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
She has published her autobiography, “I Am Malala.”
She went on to win handfuls of awards — the International Children’s Peace Prize, the United Nations Human Rights Prize and a spot among Time’s Most Influential People of 2013.
She continued to travel and advocate for girls’ schooling, grabbing widespread attention and creating a wave of support for her cause.
The Malala Fund, which was created in 2013, has received and donated millions of dollars to efforts worldwide.
In March, she announced her second book, “We Are Displaced,” which focuses on the refugee experience, including her own.