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Malala Is British Vogue's July Cover Star

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai unveiled the July cover of British Vogue via Twitter on Tuesday, saying she hopes "that every girl who sees this cover will know that she can change the world."

In an interview with British Vogue contributor Sirin Kale, the 23-year-old Nobel Prize laureate talks about being a Gen Z icon and human rights activist, and life at Oxford University before graduating last year. "I was excited about literally anything," she said. "Going to McDonald's or playing poker with my friends or going to a talk or an event. I was enjoying each and every moment because I had not seen that much before."

The 23-year-old also opens up about wearing a headscarf on cover of a fashion magazine: "It's a cultural symbol for us Pashtuns, so it represents where I come from. And Muslim girls or Pashtun girls or Pakistani girls, when we follow our traditional dress, we're considered to be oppressed, or voiceless, or living under patriarchy. I want to tell everyone that you can have your own voice within your culture, and you can have equality in your culture."

Yousafzai was only 15 in 2012 when she was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for campaigning for the education of girls. After the assassination attempt, She relocated with her family to England. Malala and her father established the Malala Fund in 2013, an organization dedicated to giving girls access to education.

"I care a lot about my work and I worry about how long it would take to reach the goals we have set," she said. "People say, 'Malala, don't worry, it's not your responsibility, leaders should worry!' But if I have the capacity to do something to keep raising awareness, then I should."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jill Hudson