Malala Yousafzai, known as the girl who ‘stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban’ at the age of 15 in 2012, has written an autobiography entitled I Am Malala, about her life experiences so far.
Her story is both heartbreaking and empowering, and it really exemplifies the importance of educating girls – her father was the headmaster of a successful school, yet her mother is illiterate. Malala is a Pashtun girl from Pakistan, and she explains that most girls aren’t very educated, because they basically spend their young years waiting until they become a wife and a mother, and subservient to their husbands.
It was interesting to read an inside perspective to the culture of Pakistan, because as an English person, I don’t know much about Pakistan, the Muslim religion or the Taliban – except for the negativity shown in our media. Swat Valley sounds like a beautiful place, despite the terror and oppression that has been suffered there. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know the differences between burkhas, hijabs and the other ways that women cover their hair until Malala explained it in her book. She writes that from a young age, she knew she didn’t want to cover her face, a major part of her identity, and she’s lucky enough to have had a father who supported her and encouraged this independence. Honestly, I think Malala is a huge inspiration to women, and I hope that many teenage girls read this book and feel encouraged to value their education and achieve their dreams in life.
Malala herself now lives in England for her safety, and continues to strive for women’s education, even receiving a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts. I definitely want to see the film ‘He Named Me Malala’, and I recommend reading I Am Malala, it was compelling to say the least.
The book was sent to me to review, but of course I only write my own opinions.