Malala Yousafzai (born 1998) is an eighth-grade Pakistani student from the town of Mingora in Swat District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and is known for being a children's rights activist. At 13 years old she gained notability for championing the cause of the people of Swat by blogging for the BBC under a pseudonym about the atrocities of the Tehrik-i-Taliban regime. The international children's advocacy group KidsRights Foundation included Yousafzai among the nominees for the International Children's Peace Prize, making her the first Pakistani girl nominated for the award. South African Nobel laureate, Desmund Tutu announced the nominations during a 2011 ceremony in Amsterdam, Holland, but Yousafzai did not win the prize.
Yousafzai lived in Mingora Swat, occupied by the Taliban before the military operation in 2009. During this time, education was banned and many townspeople were executed. Schools were destroyed, and girls' schools bore the brunt. She wrote a diary for the BBC under the pseudonym of "Gul Makai" where she related the deeds of the Taliban in Swat.
For her courageous and outstanding services for the promotion of peace under extremely hostile conditions, she was awarded the first National Peace Award by the Pakistani government on 19 December 2011. Speaking to the media afterwards, she expressed her intent to form a political party focused on education. Effective immediately, the Govt Girls Secondary School, Mission Road, was renamed as Malala Yousufzai Govt Girls Secondary School in her honor.
She was named after Malalai of Maiwand, a Pashtun poet and warrior woman.