UN declares Malala Yousafzai 'most famous teenager of the decade'

Published On: December 26, 2019 01:25 PM NPT By: Kamal Subedi  | @Inspiredkamal

KATHMANDU, Dec 26: The United Nations (UN) has declared Nobel laureate and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai as ‘the most famous teenager in the world’ in its "Decade in Review" published on Monday. 

In the first part of its 'Decade in Review', the UN has included big stories (between 2010 and 2013) focusing on the devastating Haiti earthquake (2010), the beginning of the ongoing Syrian conflict, (2011) the inspiring work of Malala Yousafzai in favor of girls’ education (2012), and the "world’s most dangerous UN mission” to Mali (2013). 

In its recent update, the UN News Centre explained about Malala and her achievements. 

Whilst taking the bus home from school, in October 2012, Malala, and two other girls, were shot by a Taliban gunman: she was hit in the head by a bullet, but survived and eventually recovered. 

The attack made waves around the world and was widely condemned on Human Rights Day that year, a special tribute to Malala was held at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), pushing for action to ensure every girl’s right to go to school and to advance girls’ education as an urgent priority. 

In 2014, Malala became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts for children's rights. 

UN writes, "Malala’s activism and profile have only grown since the assassination attempt. She won several high-profile awards, including the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize (alongside Indian social reformer Kailash Satyarthi), and became a UN Messenger of Peace in 2017, with a special focus on girls’ education." 

Born and brought up in the volatile Swat Valley, in the northwest of the country, she came to prominence in 2010, when she got featured in a New York Times documentary about her life in the region, as the Pakistani military entered the region and clashed with Taliban fighters. 

Meanwhile, Teen Vogue Malala selected Malala as its cover person and featured her in a story called 'Decade of Youth Rising', part of a series looking back at youth activism as a defining part of the 2010s. 

Teen Vogue wrote, "The last decade was a decade of youth activism, but the next one is going to be about youth change-making."  

According to the US publication, she turned her trauma into an opportunity to position herself as arguably the most famous citizen activist in the world.

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