WOMEN WE LOVE: Malala Yousafzai

Writing by Freya Bennett // Illustration by Rosie Hendry

Malala is a 17-year-old women’s rights activist. In 2012, she was shot in the head by the Taliban for fighting for her right to an education. Last week, she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala has been campaigning for girls’ educational rights since she was 11, in her hometown of Swat Valley in Pakistan where the Taliban banned girls from attending school.


In early 2009, encouraged by her father, Malala wrote a blog under an alias for the BBC, giving insight into what it was like under Taliban occupation. She spoke about her views on promoting education for girls in Swat Valley and her belief that every child should be educated, no matter what their background.

On October 9, 2012, when Malala was only 15, she was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban as she was riding a bus back to school from an excursion. The gunman fired three shots. One of those shots hit her in the forehead; it hit her skull, which by some miracle was stronger than the bullet, and the bullet travelled down her face and landed in her shoulder.

Malala was in a critical condition in the days after the attack, but she improved enough to be taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for extensive rehab.

Malala has slight nerve damage to the left side of her face, but miraculously has made a full recovery and continues her fight to educate girls and women worldwide as well as fighting for equality in general.

Last week, on October 10, 2014, Malala received the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize (alongside co-recipient Kailash Satyarthi). At the age of 17, Malala is the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

We wanted to celebrate Malala with you as she is one of Tigress’ favourite heroines. Malala, we salute you!

Here are some quotes from Malala to inspire you, encourage you, and remind you that not all is lost. If a 17 year old girl from Swat Valley Pakistan can continue her fight after being shot in the head by the Taliban, then so can we!

“I speak not for myself but for those without voice… those who have fought for their rights… their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.”

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

“The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.”

“I believe it’s a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear and if a woman can go to the beach and wear nothing, then why can’t she also wear everything?”

“Extremists have shown what frightens them the most: A girl with a book.”

Check out her story and more at:


Rosie Hendry

Rosie is a 27 year old self-taught illustrator from England. She’s ‘inkspired’ by myths and folklore, heroines and beasties, quirky patterns, striking lines and bad puns. She recreates her strange little daydreams in pen and watercolour. Find her on Instagram.

Freya Bennett

Freya Bennett is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who has a passion for youth rights and mental health. To combat her own battle with anxiety and hypochondria, you can find Freya boxing, practicing yoga, taking sertraline and swimming in the ocean. She believes in opening up about her mental health struggles and shining a light on what is not spoken about. Freya welcomed her first daughter, Aurora into the world on the 21st of November, 2017 and spends her days building blocks, reading stories and completely exhausted. With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed teen media. The magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality and kindness. You can follow her on Instagram @freyasadventures.

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