International Malala Day 2020: Important Date, History, Facts and Quotes 

International Malala Day 2020: Malala Day is observed on July 12 to honor the prominent activist for woman education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai. Get the information about the history, Malala Yousafzai, facts, and quotes from this article.

Niranjani | Updated Jul 11, 2020 14:50 PM

International Malala Day 2020: Important Date, History, Facts and Quotes 

International Malala Day 2020: 

Malala Day is celebrated on July 12 every year to commemorate the young Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai. Malala Yousafzai was not allowed to enter school as a young girl. But Malala refused to stay home and spoke out for education and was nearly killed to stand up for her opinions. To date, Malala continues to work to ensure education for every girl around the world.

What is the history of Malala Day?

Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Pakistani activist who works to promote women's education, delivered an eloquent speech at UN headquarters on the need for worldwide access to women's education on 12 July 2013. The address saw several rounds of standing ovations for the teenager, and the UN promptly declared the day as 'Malala Day' to honor the young activist. The day of July 12 was also her birthday.

Who is Malala?

Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Pakistan, on 12 July 1997, located in the Swat Valley of the country. Since 2008, Malala has started advocating for women's rights in education. Besides, she was also critical of the region's Taliban threat that has been against women's education for decades. 

Malala also had a regular blog about her life in BBC Urdu during the Taliban occupation of Swat. She soon caught public attention from all over the world and sought interviews in newspapers and television shows.

Malala was attacked by gunmen from the Taliban in October 2012 and was in critical condition. Soon afterward, she was sent to recover in the UK. 

Yousafzai gave a speech at the United Nations on her 16th birthday in 2013, nine months after being shot by the Taliban. Yousafzai emphasized her focus on women's rights and education, calling world leaders to reform their policies.

The Malala Fund:

In 2013, Yousafzai and her father launched the Malala Fund, which works to ensure 12 years of free, safe, quality education for girls around the world. The fund gives priority to assisting its Gulmakai Network. The countries where most girls miss out on secondary education, including Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.


Malala has been the recipient for a number of awards and honours over the years.

  • In 2011, she was awarded the National Youth Peace Prize in Pakistan

  • In October 2013, the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

  • In October 2014, she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, at just 17 years old

  • In April 2017, the United Nations appointed Malala as a U.N. Messenger of Peace

  • In April 2017, she has been awarded an honorary Canadian citizenship

Books of Malala:

'I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban' is an autobiography published in October 2013 by Malala Yousafzai.

'Malala's Magic Pencil' - Malala Yousafzai published a children's picture book about her life experience in October 2017.

'We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World' is a book published in 2018 about herself and about the refugee girls she met in her campaigns. 

'He Named Me Malala' - A documentary about Malala Yousafzai's life was released in October 2015.

The young woman has not only received numerous prizes and accolades, within a short period of time, but Malala has also become a strong advocate for women empowerment across the globe.

Malala - Interesting facts

  •  Malala(at 17 years) is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

  • She shared the Nobel Peace Prize award with another child rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi

  • Malala was aboard a bus in 2012, campaigning for girls education girls in Pakistan, when the Taliban allegedly hijacked the bus and singled her out, shooting her in the head and the neck

  • Pakistan released the creation of very first Right to Education Bill, due to the violent assassination attempt at Malala

  • On 12 July 2013, Malala spoke of "Every child's right to education" in UN

  • Till date, Malala has received over 40 awards and honors for her courage and activism. She also received an honorary doctorate from the University of King's College in 2014 and a Grammy Award for Best Children in 2015

  •  For Syrian refugees Malala opened an all-girls school, when Malala turned 18, calling on leaders from around the world to provide 'books and not bullets'

  • In 2015, an asteroid was named as Malala

Malala - Quotes

  • “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”

  • “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

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

  • “Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow." Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”

  • “If one man can destroy everything, why can't one girl change it?”

  • “With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism.”

  • “I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls.”

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Malala Day 2020- FAQ

1. Why is Malala Day celebrated?  

The UN had announced July 12th as Malala Day to celebrate not only the birthday of young activists, but also the day she gave a powerful speech at the UN calling for worldwide access to education.


2. How many shots were fired on Malala?  

Malala was aboard a bus in 2012, campaigning for education of girls in Pakistan, when the Taliban allegedly hijacked the bus and singled her out, and fired three shots at her.


3. What did Malala accomplish?  

As a young girl in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. In 2012 a Taliban gunman shot her in the head but survived. She became the youngest person to get the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

4. What did Malala do with the Nobel Prize money?  

Upon winning the Nobel in 2014, Malala donated $50,000 of the prize money to rebuild a school in Gaza. 


5. With whom did Malala share the Nobel Prize?  

In 2014, the Nobel Peace Prize was shared between Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai "for their fight against the suppression of children and youth, and for the right of all children to education."