Why You Need to Watch Malala Yousafzai's UN Speech Right Now

Our new heroine: the 16-year-old Pakistani teenager, Malala Yousafzai, who stood up to the Taliban today in the UN after they shot her in the head in October.

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai at the United Nations
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

On October 9, 2012, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai was shot in the left side of her forehead by the Taliban while campaigning for girls' education, a notoriously controversial topic in the Middle East. Having since recovered, Malala made her first public appearance today — her 16th birthday — at the United Nations, speaking about the importance of safe, available education, and most importantly, her own powerful survival story.

"Terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this — weakness, fear, and hopelessness died; strength, power and courage was born," Malala said, after which she received a thunderous standing ovation.

Watch her inspiring speech in full, below:

Malala, thank you for being an inspiration to us all, for not only being otherworldly courageous in times of adversity and struggle, but for also representing the importance of always, always advocating for your passions. Happy birthday, and happy #MalalaDay!