The Pakistani activist shared her first post on her 21st birthday.
Malala Yousafzai has met with world leaders, spoken at the United Nations, and sold millions of copies of her memoir. But the one platform she hasn’t used to spread her inspirational message is Instagram – until now.
The education activist turned 21 on July 12, and marked the milestone by sharing her first Instagram post. She wrote: “Hi, Instagram! So happy to be celebrating my 21st birthday in #Brazil!”
The Oxford University student spent her big day advocating for local girls’ rights to attend school.
“In my time here, I’ve met many girls facing racism, poverty and violence. Because of these issues 1.5 million Brazilian girls – mostly indigenous and Afro-Brazilian girls – are not in school and they don’t feel safe,” she explained on Twitter.
Yousafzai also announced that her non-profit organisation, the Malala Fund, was investing around US$700,000 in education activists in Brazil.
“We want to help them ensure that every girl in this country gets 12 years of free, safe, quality education.”
Yousafzai added: “I have one wish on my birthday: to show these girls that they don’t have to fight alone.”
In 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen for speaking out about girls’ right to education in Pakistan. Her story led to an international outpouring of support, and she was transferred to Birmingham, England for lifesaving treatment.
The teen made a full recovery, and has continued to campaign for young women’s access to education ever since.
She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, and last year was named the youngest ever United Nations Messenger of Peace – the highest honour that can be bestowed by the UN secretary-general.
She is studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford.