Most of Malala Yousafzai's memoir, I Am Malala, focuses on her determination to get an education despite the strict laws and threats of the Taliban. In Malala's native Pakistan and nearby countries like Afghanistan, once the Taliban took control, they imposed Sharia law, which forbid women from leaving the home without a male companion (husband, father, brother) or not in a burqa (which covered her completely except that she can see out through a panel in font of her eyes). Women were no longer allowed to attend school or hold jobs.
Earlier in Malala's childhood, before Taliban control, she attended school; in fact, her father ran a school. Both boys and girls attended. Later, though, the girls were withdrawn. At first, some left out of fear because it had become dangerous to be on the streets or in schools (they were bombed). Later, it became law that girls could not attend school. For a time, Malala does stay home, and when her brother returns to school, he "said he would rather stay home like [Malala]." Malala is upset because she would give anything to be able to go back to school, and later, she of course does risk her life when she is shot in the face for advocating and pursuing education for girls.