Three years after her daughter was shot by the Taliban for promoting female education, Malala’s mother has spoken publicly for the first time.
Speaking at the Women in the World summit, Tor Pekai Tousafzai told the audience of how she left school at a young age because she was unable to continue, as “the only girl in a class full of boys.”
Opening up about her new found love for learning, Pekai shared some home truths with the crowd, speaking about how her daughter often hassles her about her homework.
“I love it very much. I enjoy reading and writing and learning, but when I come home and they have given me homework I put my bag in the corner — I say ‘I can’t be bothered,'” Yousafzai said with a laugh, according to The New York Times. “But then Malala comes home and says ‘where is your bag, have you done your homework,’ and I want to say ‘Oh it’s a bit hard!'”
The mother of three also shared her concerns about the ongoing welfare of her brave daughter, saying she was constantly worried about Malala’s safety, but was also astonished at her daughter’s unbreakable spirit and commitment.
“[Malala] would tell me, ‘I can’t stop going to school, I can’t stop talking because I am a girl and we cannot go back to the ages when they buried girls alive. I want to progress. I want to speak,'” Yousafzai said.
Malala also spoke of the pride she feels when she sees her mother trying as hard as she does.
“She wants to learn. She wants to get an education. She goes to school five days a week. She does her homework.”
“My mother is now learning English, becoming independent, goes to see the doctor on her own, goes to the shops and markets on her own,” Malala told The Times. “On the other hand, my father is now going towards the kitchen. He makes eggs. He cannot really do a lot of cooking, but he brings plates to the table, brings cups, puts jam and butter in those things. So he is getting better.”
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) October 11, 2015