Malala Day 2020: Malala Fund to compile anthology on girls’ right to education
The book will feature the voices of school-aged girls who are tackling local issues in their communities and showing the next generation that they too can do the same.Updated: Jul 12, 2020 08:33 IST
Malala Day is commemorated on July 12, the birthday of Malala Yousafzai, to honour women and children’s rights around the world. On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen after she publicly advocated for the education of girls.
Despite the attack, Malala soon returned to the public eye, fiercer in her views than earlier and continued her advocacy for gender rights. She founded the Malala Fund, a non-profit organisation to help young girls go to school and also co-authored a book titled I Am Malala, an international bestseller.
Apart from having a day dedicated to her, Malala has been felicitated with several awards and honours. In 2012, she was awarded the first-ever National Youth Peace Prize by the Pakistan government. In 2014, at age 17, Malala became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace prize in recognition of her efforts for children’s rights which had begun even before she was shot. The UN has declared her as “the most famous teenager in the world” in its Decade in Review report in late 2019.
Malala has also been awarded an honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of Commons in Canada. The documentary on the activist, He Named Me Malala, was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2015.
Yousafzai has also authored another book titled We Are Displaced that chronicles her experiences of travelling the world and visiting refugee camps.
In June this year, Malala Yousafzai completed her degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. She tweeted about the big news with two pictures and wrote, “Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford.”
Now a book that documents the journeys of 25 exceptionally brave girls who fought oppression and defied regressive social norms for their right to education has been announced just ahead of Malala Day. HarperCollins India has acquired the rights of the anthology which is compiled by Malala Fund and will be released in 2021.
Edited by Tess Thomas, editor of Assembly, the digital publication and newsletter of Malala Fund, the book will feature school-aged girls who are speaking out, tackling local issues in their communities and showing the next generation that they too can do the same.
“Malala Fund created Assembly, our digital publication and newsletter, to help more girls tell their stories just like Malala Yousafzai did. This print anthology will feature personal essays by girls around the world about their fight for education and equality,” said Thomas.
The book is yet to be given a title.
Krishan Chopra, publisher at HarperCollins, said the book is of enormous relevance.
“As a fallout of Covid-19, the dropout rate of girls in schools is expected to rise and the irony is that in academics, they are either equal or ahead of the boys, when given sufficient opportunities. We are delighted, therefore, to announce this anthology,” he said.
Commissioning editor of the book, Ananya Borgohain, added, “Because of Covid-19 and the lockdown, many people in India have lost their jobs, making it difficult especially for low-income households to sustain their children’s costs of education.”
“It is important for people to know the stories that can give them not just hope but also crucial information about access to education. This is what this book will do,” she adds.
-- with PTI inputs