Malala is not alone: Five inspirational young women standing up for their rights
Updated 8:42 AM ET, Fri October 11, 2013
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All Malala Yousafzai wanted was an education for herself and other young girls in Pakistan and despite threats from the Taliban, she continued to go to school. When it was clear that Malala wouldn't back down to increasing intimidation, the Taliban shot her in the head.
It's the story of the young girl that captured the hearts of so many across the world. But she is not alone. We meet five other female campaigners from across the globe. These are all inspirational young women who have overcome poverty and hardship and are passionate about giving something back to their communities.Courtesy University Hospital Birmingham, Magic Bus & Plan International/
Urmila, 22, comes from a family of bonded farmers in Nepal and was sold as a child servant, known as a Kamalari, at the age of 6. After she was freed 11 years later, Urmila started school with the help of non-governmental organizations and began fighting for the rights of Kalamari girls, a campaign that has taken her to meet Nepal's president and prime minister. Urmila will be presented with a Youth Courage Award for Education by the U.N. special envoy for global education on Friday, July 12.Courtesy Plan International
Fatmata, an 18-year-old high school student from rural Sierra Leone, became passionate about issues from child marriage to domestic violence and street children after taking part in Plan International's Girls Making Media project.
She now presents a program on a local community radio station and has given talks at her school on corporal punishment and gender-based violence in schools.
Fatmata recently shared her story and ideas at the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.Courtesy Plan International
Parvati Pujari, 22, grew up in a Mumbai shantytown and saw her eldest sister get married at the age of 12. With the help of a local non-governmental organization, Parvati attended school and resisted her parents' plans for an early marriage. With a flair for sports, Parvati started working in junior sports development for Magic Bus, an organization that had supported her since she was a child, while studying for a degree in commerce. She also participates in sports such as rugby at national level and for local football teams.Courtesy Magic Bus
Marcela, 17, is determined to break the cycle of discrimination against girls in her community near El Salvador's capital, San Salvador. She has joined a project, Cultura de Paz, aiming to raise awareness of social issues and challenges among her community's youth. Another project close to Marcela's heart is VOCES, through which she shares information on the rights of children via radio and video.Courtesy Plan International
As a secondary school student in rural Cameroon, Fabiola, 19, became a member of Plan Cameroon's Youth Empowerment through Technology, Arts and Media project, producing youth media to raise awareness around gender issues and help girls' access their rights.
In 2011, she participated in the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women and was inspired to establish Girls on the Front (G-Front), an association that aims to ensure girls have more opportunities to promote and defend their rights locally, nationally and internationally.Courtesy Plan International