It’s always tough living with an overachiever – in the best way possible, of course. And in the Yousafzai family it seems, it’s no different.
Malala Yousafzai’s crusade for the rights of women and girls to receive an education began by speaking out when she was just 11 years old – and after surviving being shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012, she and her cause were catapulted into global consciousness.
Now, Malala’s mother has opened up to the public for the first time, revealing how (thanks to her daughter’s influence, no doubt) she too has returned to school to learn to read and write.
Speaking at the Women in the World summit in London, Toor Pekai Yousafzai said she originally left school after finding herself the only girl in a class full of boys. But with Malala’s encouragement, she’s loving her new learning direction – even if it means being bossed around by her daughter occasionally.
“I enjoy reading and writing and learning, but when I come home and they have given me homework I put my bag in the corner — I say ‘I can’t be bothered’.
“But then Malala comes home and says ‘where is your bag, have you done your homework,’ and I want to say ‘Oh it’s a bit hard!'”
Yep, anyone who’s come home from a tough day school only to be told you can’t just chill in front of the telly feels that.
— Women in the World (@WomenintheWorld) October 11, 2015
Apart from this charming insight into their family life, Malala’s mother also shed some light on her daughter’s steely determination to be heard in her fight for education rights.
Before she was attacked, Malala was writing ‘Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl’, a blog for the BBC in which she denounced the Taliban. Although her mother never anticipated that they would try to kill her, she nevertheless worried about her daughter’s welfare.
But Malala refused to let fear silence her. “She used to say ‘I can’t go back to the days they buried girls alive — I want to speak, I want to progress’.
“How could I stop a girl like her speaking out?”