Malala Yousufzai: One Month On

Courageous youth activist “surprised” at attention she's received.
  • Malala Yousafzai in hospital, with her father Ziauddin and her two younger brothers. (Photo: Malala/Facebook)

As the world celebrates the bravery of a 15-year-old and her inspirational dedication to the cause of educating girls, IWPR looks back with pride on Malala Yousufzai's involvement in the Open Minds project.

Malalai Yousufzai talks about taking part in IWPR's Open Minds project.

Open Minds encourages young people to write about the issues they care about and hosts discussion clubs to support open debate. In the clip on the right, Malala describes what she got out of the project, and is also shown receiving a prize in an essay-writing competition.

In honour of Malala, November 10 has been declared a global day of action to get girls all over the world into school – one of the main issues she spoke out about in Pakistan. And in Britain, campaigner Shahida Choudhary has set up a petition to get Malala nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Meanwhile, doctors at the British hospital treating her say she continues to make progress.

Malala’s condition is described as “comfortable and stable” by medical staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, a month after she was seriously injured by a gunman from the Pakistani Taleban. (See Shooting a Free Spirit on the attack.)

Her father Ziauddin Yousufzai, visiting her in hospital, says she has been reading the worldwide expressions of support sent to her, and is both surprised and grateful.

In the Open Minds essay-writing competition in December 2010, Malala’s subject was extremism, and she identified the antidote as a just society, the rule of law, and tolerance for other people.

“When [someone] says I am the son of Adam and we are all equal, then there will be no extremism,” she wrote.  

IWPR is assisting Malala and her family as she recovers with support from the Sahar Journalists’ Assistance Fund, which commemorates Sahar al-Haidari, the courageous Iraqi woman reporter killed by extremists in 2007. To learn more about the fund or make a contribution to it, contact Cynthia Sadler.