Why Malala Yousafzai Risked Everything to Speak Out Against the Taliban

Season 7 Episode 626
Aired on 10/11/2015 | CC tv-14
Malala Yousafzai was just 11 years old when the Taliban, an extremist Islamic group, took over the Swat Valley, her home in rural Pakistan. Within two years, she went from what she calls a happy childhood to witnessing people beaten and murdered in public squares.

When the Taliban banned girls from getting an education, Malala bravely spoke out. Later, a Taliban gunman shot her point-blank in the head to silence her. Malala miraculously survived and went on to become the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

What possessed a young girl to take such a courageous stance in the face of an eminent threat?

In their Super Soul Sunday interview, Malala tells Oprah that she was never afraid that publicly expressing her viewpoint would make her the target of a terrorist attack. Instead, she was driven to speak out by a desire not to fall into the rut she saw other women in her community occupy.

"I did not want to live in a situation where I had no freedom, where I did not have the right to be who I wanted," Malala says.

"And the next thought that would come to my mind was, 'Am I going to be just like the other women in my community, getting married at a very early age—13, 14—and then having children, and then grandchildren, and that's it? That will be my life.'"

Watch as the trailblazing activist reveals what she feared more than dying.