An Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai fights for girls to have the right to an education — and the collection of the best Malala Yousafzai quotes below express just that.
From getting equal opportunities in the workforce to having the right to an education, it’s scary to think how far behind we actually are when it comes to things that should pretty much be a given.
On October 10, 2014, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai made history by becoming the youngest woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize award.
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Hearing her acceptance speech, packed with motivational quotes on why we should fight to even the fields when it comes to education for women, was completely awe-inspiring.
Her journey to helping girls gain the right to attend school in Pakistan hasn’t been smooth sailing.
Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan, demanding that girls have the right to receive education in Pakistan.
When she was just 15 years old, Yousafzai was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban for advocating for girls’ education.
The fact that this did nothing to stop her from fighting for women everywhere, and instead motivated her to keep going, makes her an inspiration to us all.
You don’t have to be a woman to understand just how brave Malala Yousafzai is for putting her life on the line so that all girls can go out and truly experience theirs, and these quotes are proof of that.
Take a look below for the best Malala Yousafzai quotes below about women, the power of education and how to make a difference in the world no matter who you are.
Malala Yousafzai Quotes About Women:
1. “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” — Malala Yousafzai
2. “We liked to be known as the clever girls. When we decorated our hands with henna for holidays and weddings, we drew calculus and chemical formulae instead of flowers and butterflies.” — Malala Yousafzai
3. “Extremists have shown what frightens them most: A girl with a book.” — Malala Yousafzai
4. “I am stronger than fear.” — Malala Yousafzai
5. “If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it? ” — Malala Yousafzai
6. “If a woman can go to the beach and wear nothing. then why can’t she also wear everything?” — Malala Yousafzai
7. “In Pakistan when women say they want independence, people think this means we don’t want to obey our fathers, brothers or husbands. But it does not mean that. It means we want to make decisions for ourselves. We want to be free to go to school or to go to work. Nowhere is it written in the Quran that a woman should be dependent on a man. The word has not come down from the heavens to tell us that every woman should listen to a man.” — Malala Yousafzai
8. “I was a girl in a land where rifles are fired in celebration of a son, while daughters are hidden away behind a curtain, their role in life simply to prepare food and give birth to children.” — Malala Yousafzai
9. “I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.” — Malala Yousafzai
10. “We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced.” — Malala Yousafzai
11. “Our men think earning money and ordering around others is where power lies. They don’t think power is in the hands of the woman who takes care of everyone all day long, and gives birth to their children.” — Malala Yousafzai
12. “There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” — Malala Yousafzai
13. “I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls.” — Malala Yousafzai
14. “I believe the gun has no power at all.” — Malala Yousafzai
15. “Even if I am a girl. Even if people think I can’t do it, I should not lose hope.” — Malala Yousafzai
16. “When someone takes away your pens you realize quite how important education is.” — Malala Yousafzai
17. “My mother always told me, “hide your face — people are looking at you.” I would reply, “It does not matter; I am also looking at them.” — Malala Yousafzai
18. “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” — Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai Quotes On Education:
19. “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai
20. “Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.” — Malala Yousafzai
21. “Education is neither eastern nor western. Education is education and it’s the right of every human being.” — Malala Yousafzai
22. “I said to myself, Malala, you must be brave. You must not be afraid of anyone. You are only trying to get an education. You are not committing a crime.” — Malala Yousafzai
23. “The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.” — Malala Yousafzai
24. “Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow.” — Malala Yousafzai
25. “With guns, you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism.” — Malala Yousafzai
26. “Though we loved school, we hadn’t realized how important education was until the Taliban tried to stop us. Going to school, reading and doing our homework wasn’t just a way of passing time, it was our future.” — Malala Yousafzai
27. “We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave – to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential. Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child’s bright future. ” — Malala Yousafzai
28. “The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them.” — Malala Yousafzai
29. “The Taliban could take our pens and books, but they couldn’t stop our minds from thinking.” — Malala Yousafzai
30. “Let us pick up our books and pens, They are our most powerful weapons.” — Malala Yousafzai
31. “They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear, and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.” — Malala Yousafzai
32. “To me, the moral of the story was that there will always be hurdles in life, but if you want to achieve a goal, you must continue.” — Malala Yousafzai
33. “Education is our basic right. Not just in the West; Islam too has given us this right. Islam says every girl and every boy should go to school. In the Quran it is written, God wants us to have knowledge. He wants us to know why the sky is blue and about oceans and stars. I know it’s a big struggle—around the world, there are fifty-seven million children who are not in primary school, thirty-two million of them girls.” — Malala Yousafzai
34. “Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected.” — Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai Quotes About Personal Strength:
35. “Today I looked at myself in a mirror and thought for a second. Once I had asked God for one or two extra inches in height, but instead, he made me as tall as the sky, so high that I could not measure myself.” — Malala Yousafzai
36. “Kindness can only be repaid with kindness. It can’t be repaid with expressions like ‘thank you.'” — Malala Yousafzai
37. “I don’t want to be thought of as the ‘girl who was shot by the Taliban’ but the ‘girl who fought for education.’ This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.” — Malala Yousafzai
38. “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” — Malala Yousafzai
39. “I think everyone makes a mistake at least once in their life. The important thing is what you learn from it.” — Malala Yousafzai
40. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai
41. “Life isn’t just about taking in oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide.” — Malala Yousafzai
42. “I raise my voice not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.” — Malala Yousafzai
43. “This is what my soul is telling me: Be peaceful and love everyone.” — Malala Yousafzai
44. “We were scared, but our fear was not as strong as our courage.” — Malala Yousafzai
45. “Don’t be afraid—if you are afraid you can’t move forward.” — Malala Yousafzai
46. “All I want is education, and I am afraid of no one.” — Malala Yousafzai
47. “I raise up my voice — not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” — Malala Yousafzai
48. “Read thousands of books and I will power myself with knowledge. Pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism.” — Malala Yousafzai
49. “I reassured my mother that it didn’t matter to me if my face was not symmetrical. Me, who had always cared about my appearance, how my hair looked! But when you see death, things change. “It doesn’t matter if I can’t smile or blink properly,” I told her. “I’m still me, Malala. The important thing is God has given me my life.” — Malala Yousafzai
50. “I told myself, Malala, you have already faced death. This is your second life. Don’t be afraid — if you are afraid, you can’t move forward.” — Malala Yousafzai
Cassandra Rose is a love and entertainment writer for YourTango.