Student Learning Resources: The Fight for Human Rights

Malala Yousafzai

Photo: Ken Opprann


Watch the video on Nobel Prize-awarded human rights activist Malala Yousafzai and then answer the questions.

Malala Yousafzai grew up in the Swat Valley of northern Pakistan. When the Taliban took power in the area, they banned girls from going to school, destroyed schools and silenced all dissidents with violence. In spite of all this, in 2009 Malala Yousafzai started blogging about her experiences under Taliban rule for the British TV channel BBC and took up the fight for girls’ right to education in Pakistan. One day when she was 15 years old and on the way home from school, her school bus was stopped by armed members of the Taliban and she was shot in the head.

Yousafzai recovered, and in 2014 she became the youngest Nobel Laureate ever when, at the age of just 17, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian activist for children’s rights. Yousafzai and Satyarthi were honoured for their fight against the oppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to be educated.

1. Who is Malala Yousafzai?
2. What was it like in the Swat Valley of northern Pakistan when Yousafzai
began blogging for the BBC at the age of eleven?
3. What did Yousafzai want to achieve? How did she go about her struggle?
4. What human rights do you see as connected to Yousafzai’s work and the situation in
the Swat Valley?
Start by looking at the image below and decide what kind of rights she was fighting for. Then use Amnesty’s summary version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to identify one or more specific articles.

The 30 human rights articles sorted under a headline

Additional resources: Pakistan

5. What is it like in Pakistan today (a little more than 10 years later)? Have the people
gained the rights Yousafzai was fighting for? Search for information on the Internet.
Use evidence from at least two sources in presenting your answer. Some
recommended sources of information:

6. What do you think is needed for Yousafzai’s goals to be achieved?

To cite this section
MLA style: Student Learning Resources: The Fight for Human Rights. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2022. Sat. 1 Oct 2022. <>