Malala Yousafzai 'deeply worried' for women, children, and minorities as Taliban seizes Afghanistan

Malala Yousafzai was shot aged 15 by the Islamic fundamentalist organization for campaigning for women's right to education

Malala Yousafzai was shot aged 15 by the Islamic fundamentalist organization after she campaigned for girls' and women's right to education
(Image credit: Louise Kennerley/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty)

Women's rights activist Malala Yousafzai has spoken out against the Taliban's seizure of Afghanistan, voicing her concerns for the country and urging the international community to intervene. 

The Nobel Peace Prize Winner revealed she is "shocked and worried" by the Islamic fundamentalist group's takeover of Afghanistan, expressing particular concern for the safety of "women, minorities and human rights advocates." 

She also instructed "global, regional and local powers" to "call an immediate ceasefire, provide urgent humanitarian aid and protect refugees and civilians." The statement came shortly after Taliban troops entered the capital city of Kabul and barged into its abandoned presidential palace, where they are expected to announce the establishment of a new Islamic government. 

Who is Malala Yousafzai? 

Malala Yousafzai became the subject of worldwide attention in October 2012 after she was shot by a Taliban gunman for vocalizing her support for girls and women's education. 

The brutal attack, which occurred when the Pakistani 15-year-old was returning home from a school exam, left her life in grave danger and in need of intensive medical care. After a five-hour-long surgery in Peshawar, she was flown to the UK to receive further treatment. Yousafzai left the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham the following January and continued her recovery at her family's temporary house in the West Midlands, where she underwent physiotherapy on a weekly basis for her extensive injuries. She remained in England to complete her education, achieving exceptional A-level results and graduating from Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 2020. 

Malala Yousafzai accepts the Nobel Peace Prize Award during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at Oslo City Town Hall on December 10, 2014 in Oslo, Norway. 

(Image credit: Nigel Waldron/Getty Images)

Who are the Taliban? 

The Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist organization that rose to prominence in 1994 following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. Founded by Mullah Omar, its mission was to remove all foreign influences from the Middle-Eastern country and implement their interpretation of the Qur'an into law. After gaining power in 1996, the militant group imposed a brutally authoritarian regime on the Afghan people, introducing several strict rules on its population—as well as corporeal penalties for those who breached them. 

Women are forced to wear the burqa under Taliban rule 

(Image credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The Taliban particularly targeted the rights of girls and women, banning them from attending school and working in professions outside of healthcare. They also strongly restricted women's personal freedoms, enforcing the mandatory wearing of the burqa and denying their right to leave the home without a close male relative. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.