When you list women who have recently made an impact on the world, Malala Yousafzai has to be on that list. I wrote about Malala, back in 2018 when I saw her interview with David Letterman. I was bowled over by the bravery and passion of this young woman.
Occasionally, I hear someone make reference to something being a first world problem. Step inside the life of a young woman who wants to be educated, and wants that for all girls in her country. Consider she lives in Pakistan and the Taliban, who control the area she lived in, was against education for females. She stands up against the Taliban and is targeted for assassination. Shot in the head, she survived and became an activist for education. At 17 years of age, she was a co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. She attended and graduated from Oxford University in England, where she recovered from her wound.
In 2018, Malala returned to Pakistan for the first time since she was shot in 2012. That same year, traveling to Australia to attend a conference, she criticizes Australia, Europe and America as not being more welcoming to refugees. She sited smaller countries that had done much more for those fleeing war, famine and suppression.
Greta and Malala: Two extraordinary young women
Malala speaks her mind, specifically when she feels countries are delinquent in addressing issues.
“So that is missing, because you feel like developed countries, like the United States, like Australia, like the European countries, they have bigger economies. They have infrastructure. They have so many facilities and they are quite rich countries. You would hope that they would be showing a bit more of a positive response towards refugees.”
In 2015, Apple produced a documentary about the young activist, and since 2018, the company has sponsored research at her organization, the Malala Fund, on the intersection of girls’ education and climate change.
She had this to say in 2019 to The New Yorker. “When I’m in college, I’m focused on my studies, go to lectures, do my essays, and spend time with friends. Also, when I get time, then I do campaigning. I go to different countries, from Brazil to Iraq, and meet the girls who are fighting for their right to an education.”
“Girls’ education, gender equality and climate change are not separate issues. Girl’s education and gender equality can be used as solutions against climate change, when we educate girls … they can become farmers, conservationists, solar technicians, they can fill other green jobs as well. Problem-solving skills can allow them to help their communities to adapt to climate change.”
Malala Yousafzai and Apple are announcing a new partnership. The 23-year-old advocate for girls’ education will be producing content exclusively for Apple TV+. With her new production company Extracurricular, Yousafzai will produce animation, children’s series, dramas, comedies, and documentaries.
Malala is evidence that dreaming big can bring big results, and from adversity comes opportunity.