Girls’ Right to Education in Pakistan

Critical Reflections on Malala’s Campaign in her Hometown


  • Zahid Ali Shah Quaid e Azam University
  • Rahman Ullah University of Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Zafar Khan University of Peshawar



Malala, Gender Mainstreaming, Women Education, Pakistan, Swat, Taliban


During the War on Terrorism, the Taliban destroyed girls’ schools and discourage their education. At this time Malala Yousafzai, a teenage girl, stood up to them and fought for girls’ education rights. Though she went through a physical and psychological ordeal after the Taliban shot her in the head she persisted in her initiative. Soon she was much praised in the Western media and also landed a Nobel Prize for her efforts. However, in her hometown, she became somewhat controversial. By engaging the ethnographic method, we bring to light different perspectives on Malala’s initiative in the valley of Swat. This article also contributes to the study of the growingly complex social and political figure of Malala Yousafzai.

Author Biographies

Zahid Ali Shah, Quaid e Azam University

Zahid Ali Shah is a PhD scholar at the Department of Anthropology, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

Rahman Ullah, University of Peshawar, Pakistan

Rahman Ullah has a PhD from and is a visiting faculty at the Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar. He is also a correspondent for the BBC World Service in Peshawar.

Zafar Khan, University of Peshawar

Zafar Khan is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Peshawar.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Shah, Z. A., Rahman Ullah, & Khan, Z. (2022). Girls’ Right to Education in Pakistan: Critical Reflections on Malala’s Campaign in her Hometown. Review of Human Rights, 8(1), 75–87.