The speech was given at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Malalal Yousafzai’s 16th birthday, July 12, 2013. It’s a bittersweet 16 for this courageous girl.
If you don’t know Malalal Yousafzai’s story, Malalal is from Mingora, a town in the Swat district of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. In October 2012, at the tender age of 15, the education activist was targeted and shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in front of fellow students on a school bus. The assassination attempt was in response to Malalal’s blog advocating for girls education in her community where girls were banned from attending school. (Pakistan has the 2nd largest students out of school in the world.) By a miracle she survived the shooting and was sponsored to be sent to the UK for intensive rehabilitation.