• Clodagh Meaney

Malala Yousafzai celebrates as she completes degree at Oxford University

The 22-year-old was targeted by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating women's education in Pakistan

By Clodagh Meaney

Malala Yousafzai has celebrated as she marks the end of her honours degree at Oxford University.

The 22-year-old completed a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University in England.

Taking to social media she wrote: "Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford."

"I don;t know what's ahead."

"For now, it will be Netflix, reading and sleep," she joked.

When she was just 12 years old, Malala wrote a series of blogs for BBC Urdu under a pseudonym about her life as the terrorist group, Taliban, occupied the town where she was living, Swat in Pakistan.

The group and attempted to ban girls from attending school by bombing hundreds of girls' schools in early 2009.

Malala spoke out against the ban on radio in February 2009 and days later the Taliban retracted their ruling and allowed women and girls to return to education as long as they wore burqas.

Over time, she continued to attend school and became an outspoken advocate for the education of women, appearing often in the media.

As she became more prominent, death threats addressed to her published in newspapers, and sent to her at home and online.

Eventually her secret BBC pseudonym was revealed and in October 2012, the Taliban attempted to murder her in a plot which sought to silence her activism.

Walking home from school with friends Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, a gunman approached and asked which girl was Malala, threatening to shoot them all if she did not step forward.

Malala revealed herself and was shot in the head once by a lone gunman who then fled the scene.

She was airlifted to hospital in Peshawar, where she underwent emergency surgery to remove the bullet.

Once she became well enough, she was airlifted to hospital in Birmingham, England to receive specialist treatment.

Following her recovery, Malala went on to meet world leaders such as Queen Elizabeth and Barack Obama to discuss human rights and rights to education.

At 17, she was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest youngest Nobel laureate.

Malala has received a large amount of recognition for her advocacy including honorary doctorates, honorary citizenships and numerous other awards and accolades.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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