In the face of oppression and bitter injustice, she demands education and opportunity. In the face of violence from the hands of cowards, she refuses to back down. Malala is a testament that women everywhere will not be intimidated into silence.
But there are some others included in this year’s Time 100 with whom you may be less familiar:
In Gulu, Uganda, Sister Rosemary has made it her mission to provide within an orphanage a home, a shelter for women and girls whose lives have been shattered by violence, rape and sexual exploitation.
As violence ravages Central African Republic, three men are working tirelessly for peace to hold their country together.
Erwiana shared that she endured months of torture at the hands of her employer, a 44-year-old mother of two, who told Erwiana that her family would be killed if she did not perform her duties. Nor was Erwiana paid; when she was sent home, she had $9 in her pocket. But Erwiana could not be broken, nor could she be silenced.
His radio station, al-Watan, is part of a parallel press free of censorship. His journalists inside Syria risk death to tell their stories. In doing so, they’ve helped reshape a media space that was long limited to the ruling Baath Party line.
Now a college student, T has become a beacon of hope, raising her voice against the world’s $96 billion human-trafficking industry, which exploits 27 million victims, including millions of youths and children.
Buying sanitary napkins would cost too much. His response: designing a simple machine to produce sanitary pads… And instead of selling his idea to the highest bidder, he supplies his low-cost machines to rural communities.
Her goal is nothing short of eradicating global hunger in our lifetimes, creating a world where no child or adult knows the feeling of an empty stomach.
Thuli Madonsela is an inspirational example of what African public officers need to be. Her work on constitutional reform, land reform and the struggle for the protection of human rights and equality speaks for itself.