illustrated portrait of Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala

by Malala Yousafzai

Start Free Trial

What values did Malala inherit from her father?

Quick answer:

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.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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 was determined that his daughter would receive an education. Due to her father's support and example, Malala was inspired to become a champion of women's right to education and other freedoms.

When the Taliban occupied Swat and forbade girls and women from attending school, Malala and her family were resistant to these demands. Malala continued to speak out against these injustices, which led to her being targeted by Taliban assassins. Luckily, she survived, allowing both her and her father to continue their work in promoting the importance of education for all people, regardless of gender.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial