Malala Yousafzai has been an activist for girls' and women's education and rights since her preteen years. Inspired by her father, she spoke out against how the Taliban restricted education and other freedoms during their occupation of her home, the Swat Valley of Pakistan. Her activism gained fame, and she was even awarded the first Pakistani National Peace Prize. In retaliation, the Taliban attempted to have Malala killed. They sent two gunmen to assassinate her while she was traveling home from school on a bus. She ended up sustaining a shot to the head, though the bullet did not penetrate her brain.
The Taliban believes that women are supposed to be subservient to men. From the Taliban's perspective, to give women and girls freedom or an education is an insult to the natural order and to Allah. By attempting to kill Malala, they felt they were eliminating a threat to their control of the region and doing justice to their religious beliefs.
However, Malala survived her injuries after being moved to a hospital in the United Kingdom, and news of the failed assassination spread throughout the world, inspiring sympathy for Malala's cause on an international scale. While she had to deal with memory problems, slowed speech, and paralysis of the left side of her face for a while, eventually Malala was able to recover and continue her activist work.