I Am Malala Questions and Answers
by Malala Yousafzai

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What values did Malala get from her father?

In I Am Malala, Malala's zeal for education came from her father, who opened schools that admitted girls as well. Because of his beliefs, he encouraged Malala to pursue an education and inspired her to fight for other girls' educations as well.

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Malala Yousafzai inherited a great deal of her progressive values from her father, the social activist and school founder Ziauddin Yousafzai. An outspoken critic of both the Taliban and militant Islam in general, Malala's father prizes education and believes girls and women have just as much a right to learning as boys and men. Because of these beliefs, he allowed the young Malala to attend school and gain a liberal arts education, which was uncommon in Pakistan, where most of the female population remains illiterate throughout life.

In this culture, women are supposed to remain in the home in order to serve their male family members, making any kind of education beyond housework inappropriate, but Malala's father is strident in Malala's getting an education. Due to her father's support and example, Malala is inspired to become a champion of women's right to education and other freedoms.

When the Taliban occupies Swat and forbids young girls from attending school, Malala and her family are resistant to these demands. Malala continues to speak out against these injustices, which leads to her being targeted by Taliban assassins. Luckily, she survives, allowing both her and her father to continue their work in promoting the importance of education for all people, regardless of gender.

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