Malala always loved to read, write and learn but at the age of 11 the opportunity was taken away from her when the local Taliban leader declared all female education has to cease within a month, or schools would suffer the consequences. A small group of children still attended school, including Malala; risking their lives for their love of education. The Taliban feared education would give children power. Her father, Ziauddin encouraged her to start writing an anonymous blog about life under the Taliban and the sheer devastation she was facing. She saw it as an opportunity to speak out and to let people know what was going on. As her valley was getting bombed and attacked more frequently, she began writing and being interviewed on TV more frequently. It was Malala against the Taliban. Whilst being issued numerous death threats from the Taliban, Malala stated, “I had two options. One was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the other was to speak out and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up.” This is a prime example of Malala’s leadership and determination to take a stand against the powerful Taliban. When returning home from school in 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman with a single bullet going through her skull and her neck to land in her shoulder. From Pakistan to Germany to the US to the UK, doctors from all around the world offered to treat the young girl. The realization that the Taliban were capable of attempting to murder a young girl was a defining moment in Pakistan, not to mention the rest of the world. Whilst many feared for their safety, it gave many people a lot of courage and strength to realize enough is enough and its time to take action. In 2014, she was declared the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. Malala is an inspiration to millions of people all around the world.
The cultural privileging of boys manifests itself in different ways across the world. In western countries, women are considered to have equal rights and be treated on the same level as men. Malala’s book however, depicts how poor families in Pakistan and many other parts of South Asia endeavour to ensure that the boys get some kind of education and often care less if their daughter remains illiterate. This is provoked due to the idea that females do not need to be educated to undertake the expected role of wife and mother. The emotive language of “My mother had been waiting for a son and could not hide her joy when he was born. To me he seemed very thin and small, like a reed that could snap in the wind, but he was the apple of her eye. It seemed to me that his every wish was her command” depicts the pure happiness of her brothers’ birth. It is in this moment where Malala recognizes the inequality between her and her brother’s treatment from the moment they are born. Females are quite often seen as an economic burden, even though they perform unrecognized but valuable labour in the home for their families. Malala is able to cast a critical lens on this, because her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, rejects this gender- based way of treating girls as less, and she