She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school.
Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement.
In early 2009, when she was 11–12 years old, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban occupation, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley.
Yousafzai rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu.
A UN petition in Yousafzai’s name was launched in 2013, using the slogan “I am Malala” and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015 – a petition which helped lead to the ratification of Pakistan’s first Right to Education Bill.
On 10 October 2014, Yousafzai was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.
At age 17, Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel laureate ever.
Yousafzai shared the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist from India.
She is the second Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize, with Abdus Salam being a 1979 Physics laureate.