Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Malala Yousafzai


RENOWNED for her advocacy for girls’ education and their rights, Malala Yousafzai continues to be an influential figure globally. Speaking at the 21st Nelson Mandela Annual Peace Lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2023, Malala drew the world’s attention to what she calls “gender apartheid” en forced by the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, denying girls and women the right to education and work in the name of religion. “South Africans fought for racial apartheid to berecognised and criminalised at the international level…But gender apartheid has not been explicitly codified yet,” the youngest No bel Prize laureate said, calling on governments to make gender apartheid a crime against humanity.

She even suggested that the United Nations should add and adapt language on gender apartheid to the new Crimes Against Humanity Treaty that it is currently drafting. Malala was only 15 years old when she was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen for daring to pursue an education in Swat Valley, Pakistan in October 2012. After recovering in the United Kingdom, she continued her fight for girls and founded the Malala Fund with her father, Ziauddin, in 2013. The charity is dedicated to “giving every girl an opportunity to achieve a future she chooses,” and its Education Champion Network sup ports the work of educators and advocates helping bolster girls’ secondary education around the world. At the age of 17, Malala became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which she shared with India’s Kailash Satyarthi in 2014.

They were honoured with the prestigious award for their struggles against the suppression of children and their work for the right to education. Last year, the activist was bestowed with a prestigious honorary fellowship by Oxford University’s Linacre College, becoming the first Pakistani to receive the honour. The 26-year-old is currently

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