Malala Yousafzai has spoken of her desire to become Prime Minister of Pakistan at a conference in the United Arab Emirates.
Yousafzai spoke about the moment she realised that girls could dream beyond being doctors, housewives and teachers. “I saw Benazir Bhutto as a woman leader [who was] twice the prime minister of Pakistan,” she told Gulf News. “I heard about women athletes, women astronauts, women artists, women entrepreneurs. It allowed me to recognize the potential that I had, and that I can have as a woman, to achieve anything in my life.”
Benazir Bhutto was the first democratically elected woman to lead Pakistan in 1988. Her first term last until 1990 but she was elected to office once more as prime minister from 1993-1996 and was campaigning for a third time before her assassination in 2007. Just like Malala, Bhutto had survived previous attempts on her life.
Speaking to the Investing in the Future conference, she explained how her dream had changed “from becoming a doctor to becoming the prime minister of Pakistan.”
After the Taliban began attacking girls’ school in her hometown of Swat, the then eleven-year old gave a talk in Peshawar called ‘How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?’ Four years later in 2012, Malala survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. She was shot in the head on her way home from school.
She was brought into the UK for surgery where she continued her studies in Birmingham, at Edgbaston High School.
Since then, Yousafzai has excelled in school – her straight A’s at A Level allowed her to apply for Oxford and Stanford University. The young activist has been recognized and rewarded for her work concerning women throughout the world. In 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest person to ever do so. She is also the recipient of the Sakharov Prize, Simone de Beauvoir Prize and Mother Teresa Award (amongst others). Her work for Human Rights is commendable, and I have no doubt that Pakistan’s future PM will be called Malala Yousafzai – the girl that survived.