Girl of Courage

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The girl from Pakistan was 17 years old when she was awarded the prize in 2014. It honoured her worldwide campaign for girls’ right to education.

Girl of Courage: Malala’s Fight for Education is an exhibit that recognizes Malala as a human rights champion who continues to speak out, undaunted even by a Taliban gunman’s attempt to silence her.

A woman examines artifact cases in a museum exhibit.
Photo by CMHR/Aaron Cohen

The Taliban, a violent extremist group, took control of the district where Malala lived as a child. It did not allow girls to be educated, but Malala bravely defied the ban and went to school. At the age of 11, she started speaking out for girls’ rights on social media and in interviews.

The Museum is honoured to exhibit two highly significant artifacts on loan from Malala herself:

  • The school uniform that Malala was wearing on the day in 2012 when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, and shot her in the head. The 15-year-old Malala was gravely wounded, but survived.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize Diploma that the teenage activist received in 2014. Malala, who now lives in England, uses the money from her prize to support girls’ education around the world.  

The attack on her life only strengthened Malala’s determination. In a video featured in the exhibit, she says about her school uniform:

“The day I was attacked, I was wearing this uniform and I was fighting for my right to go to school..… Now I want to show the children, to the people all around the world that this is my right, this is the right of every child to go to school.”

A headscarf, tunic and leggings covered in blood stains
Photograph by CMHR/Aaron Cohen

Malala told her story in the best-selling book I Am Malala. It is published in a young readers’ edition called I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World. Both editions are available at the Museum Boutique