Malala Yousafzai has been acclaimed by pop stars, TV bigwigs, supermodels and politicians at the Glamour Women of the Year awards.
Out of all the “prominent” women who attended the awards evening in New York, it was the Birmingham-based teenager who stole the show.
Malala, 16, was unheard of little more than a year ago but received more praise than any other A-list celebrity.
A group of young girls from a high balcony in Carnegie Hall, where the annual event was held, shouted: “We love you, Malala!” The education activist from Pakistan blew back a kiss, and proceeded to give a speech. She said to the crowd: “I believe the gun has no power at all.”
Malala caught the world attention when the Taliban shot her in the head in October 2012. She was attacked for criticising the group’s interpretation of Islam, which in her view limited girls’ access to education.
Malala was nursed back to health at Edgbaston’s QE Hospital.
She has since gained global recognition, starting The Malala Fund to support education for girls, and recently released a memoir, I Am Malala.
Her speech at the United Nations left many in the West mesmerised whilst a significant number of Muslims believe that she is being used by Western powers for their own political benefit.
It was not just the crowd that was taken with Malala, celebrity award winners all referred to her as they took stage. Lady Gaga said she wished this month’s Glamour Magazine cover, which features her, had been devoted to Malala instead. She said: “If I could forfeit my Glamour cover I would give it to Malala.”
Supermodel Iman said: “She is a game-changer for girls. I wish young girls here knew more about Malala, and less about the Kardashians.”