Malala and feminism: a girl I admire, a subject that inspires me

Our young blogger Aimee writes about why feminism and the life of Malala Yousafzai are both so important to her.

Feminism. A word that has many misconceptions tying its true purpose down. It is seen by many as taboo: how dare I call myself a feminist!? Many people think that feminism is a means of hating or showing a disregard to men. This is in fact not true. Feminism means equality. It means that men and women are equal. It means that we all share the same value. It is not in any way a form of diminishing men, but a form of advocacy for women's rights and for equality throughout both genders. The reason I have written about this is because I, like many others, have been a victim of sexism and inequality, and the focus of my blog is about a young woman that I admire very much who has fought so hard against these things, Malala Yousafzai.

Malala is a girl from Pakistan. She is a girl who has fought for women's rights and education since a very young age. She is someone who stood up to the Taliban during very difficult times, doing what many adults double her age feared to do. She refused to give in to the Taliban's wishes, continuing to go to school even when many schools were being blown up and people terrorised. She continued her education during a time of war, and when even her father was sent threats. One day, on her way home from school on a bus, she was shot along with two other girls by members of the Taliban. The bullet was very close to her brain causing severe damage, and yet she persevered. She was rushed to Birmingham, England where she was parted from her family for a few days, only to be reunited again with them later in the hospital. She went through many operations and –amazingly – she survived. Ever since she was shot in 2012, she has continued to fight for women's education, earning herself a much-deserved Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala has written a stunning book all about her life called My Name Is Malala, in which she thoroughly retells the hardships of her life and the struggles of growing up under a place of conflict which she still calls home. She tells of her inspiring school life, being one of the top in her class and even writing an anonymous journal for the BBC in which she told them what it was like living in Pakistan. She also writes about her life after moving to Birmingham and her goals, which consist of continuing to fight for women's education. I personally own this book and highly recommended this as it is such an eye-opening book. There is also a documentary showcasing her life which I have also watched. This documentary truly opened my eyes to many of the horrors women around the world face.

Words cannot describe how much of an indescribably outstanding role model she is, especially because she is only 19 years old and has already not only witnessed some terrible things happening, such as floggings in streets and having to hide in a cupboard so she could watch television, but has also achieved amazing things and helped bring awareness to the deprivation many women face.

I consider myself lucky that I have the privilege of going to school and having the freedom to get an education, unlike many other girls my age who Malala is relentlessly fighting for. Malala has truly inspired many people, young and old, with her words of wisdom. Yet there is one thing she states that I will always remember: “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”