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How Malala Became the Youngest Person to Receive the Nobel Peace Prize

Illustration of Malala Yousafzai by Sarah Grass
Illustration of Malala Yousafzai by Sarah Grass

Malala Yousafzai (1997–present)

Malala Yousafzai’s name is synonymous with courage, strength, and perseverance. Her fight to ensure girls have access to education was brought to the world stage in 2012 after the Taliban, which actively fights to suppress girls’ education, retaliated against 15-year-old Yousafzai’s outspoken advocacy by shooting her in the head on her way home from school. After spending months recovering from a bullet wound to the head and neck, she left the hospital and immediately resumed her role as a global advocate for girls. In 2013, she and her father founded the Malala Fund, an organization meant to empower girls and campaign for their right to education. In 2014, Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the money from which she donated to help build a secondary school for girls in Pakistan.

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” —Malala Yousafzai, “I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban”

Sarah Grass is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY.

This feature originally appeared in the Fight issue. Read also about Pan American Feminist Bertha Lutz.