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Summary Article: Yousafzai, Malala from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Pakistani school pupil and education activist. She rose to international prominence in 2009 when she wrote a blog for the BBC, under the pseudonym Gul Makai, describing her life in Pakistan's Swat valley under Taliban rule and the Islamic extremists' attempts to end female education. She was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize in 2011 and became targeted by the Taliban for ‘promoting secular education’. On 9 October 2012, a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her three times in the head. Intensive care and surgery in Pakistan and later England saved her life, with a titanium plate fitted in her skull. She remained defiant and in July 2013, on her 16th birthday, addressed the United Nations in a unique Youth Assembly. Named one of Time magazine's most influential people in 2013, she won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2013. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, jointly with Kailash Satyarthi, for her efforts in promoting the rights of females to education.

Yousafzai was born into a Sunni Muslim family of Pashtun ethnicity in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, set up and ran a local school. Encouraged by her father to ‘speak freely and learn everything’, she developed an interest in education rights and politics in 2008. A year later, she agreed to blog for the BBC on the Taliban's impact on life and education in the Swat valley, despite the potential risks to her safety.

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