Education activist Malala Yousafzai loved playing cricket as a child, but wasn’t given equal treatment by the boys she played with.
She says they “assumed girls were afraid to hit a fast ball”.
“As a girl, I loved to play cricket with my friends and brothers. But I noticed that boys would throw a slower ball to me, assuming girls were afraid to hit a fast ball,” Malala wrote on Instagram, opening up about importance of sports for her and how it helped shape who she is today.
She said she would always shout back at these boys and told them to throw the ball like they would if she were a boy.
For Malala, playing sports helped give her the boldness to be competitive and resilient in her fight for girls’ education and equality.
The young Pakistani education activist turned 24 years old last week.
Born in Mingora, Pakistan, in 1997, Malala has been speaking up for girls’ education since 2008 when the Taliban had banned girls from going to school in Swat district.
Malala rose to fame after the Taliban attacked her in 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education in her village despite the ban. The then-teenager was shot in the face, after which she was rushed to the hospital. The government of Pakistan later sent her to the United Kingdom for further treatment.
Since the attack, Malala has been living in the UK. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford last year.