Malala: a #GIRLHERO who inspires us all

International Day of the Girl

No list of girlheroes is complete without Malala Yousafzai.

By now most of you are pretty familiar with her story. Targeted by the Taliban for expressing her views on education, Malala was shot on a school bus when she was traveling home from school. The bullet went through her head, neck and shoulder.

She wasn’t expected to survive… but she did. No one would have blamed her if the attack had silenced her… but it didn’t.

Malala made a full recovery, and has spent every day since continuing her fight for every child’s right to an education. On July 12, 2013, she took to the floor of the UN gave her now iconic speech. She called on all girls to join her, and world leaders to take up the cause. “We will speak for our rights and we will bring change through our voice,” she said. “We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world.”

Malala became a champion for girls who too often find their voices- and their rights- silenced. In 2014 she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, and she started the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education and to empower girls to rise up and demand change.

Taking a stand for her own rights made Malala an inspiration. Taking a stand for girls everywhere makes her a #GIRLHERO.

I could write a full novel (rather than a blog post) about Malala’s story, but I have a better idea. Today – in theaters across the U.S. – He Named Me Malala opens! The film tells Malala’s story in a way words cannot, and inspires everyone who sees it to get out there and fight to ensure all girls have access to secondary education. It inspired us, and I’m willing to bet it inspires you!

Today, we honor our #GIRLHERO Malala. Who’s yours? Take to social media and share the photos and stories of your friends, family and female role models who you consider to be a #GIRLHERO.