Manitoba

Malala's bloodied school uniform on display at Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The school uniform worn by activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai when she was shot is now on display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Pakistan girl critically injured in 2012 when a gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in head

The school uniform worn by activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on display in Manitoba

5 years ago
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The exhibit, Girl of Courage: Malala's Fight for Education, was unveiled Friday at the museum in Winnipeg and will be on display until March 2017. 1:55

The school uniform worn by activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai when she was shot is now on display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The exhibit, Girl of Courage: Malala's Fight for Education, was unveiled Friday at the museum in Winnipeg and will be on display until March 2017.

"It's a very significant exhibit because it speaks to key human rights issues, children's rights, particularly the right to education," Isabelle Masson, museum curator, said. "But also to the persistence of gender-based discrimination and violence around the world.

The exhibit also features a video of Malala speaking about the importance of her uniform as a symbol for children's rights, the power of children as change makers and the meaning of her 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Her Nobel diploma will be on display as well.

The items are on loan from Malala.

The school uniform worn by activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai when she was shot is on display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. (Jillian Taylor/CBC)

"When I would go to school, I was wearing this uniform and the day I was attacked, I was wearing this uniform and I was fighting for my right to get education — so it's very important to me," Malala says in the video that plays in the gallery.

"Now I want to show it to children, to people all around the world that this is my right, it is the right of every child to go to school and this should not be neglected."

Having Malala talk about the issues and the message is very powerful, Masson said.

"It is Malala herself that tells you, through a video, who tells why she wants the world to see her uniform, why she wants Winnipeggers, Canadians, to see her uniform," she said. 

In October 2012, when she was 15, Malala was critically injured when a gunman boarded her school bus in northwest Pakistan and fired three shots, hitting her once in the head. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

She was targeted for her campaigns promoting girls' education, which began while she was 11. She started blogging under a pseudonym for the BBC about her love of learning and about Taliban oppression in Pakistan, especially its ban on educating girls in her area.

Under Taliban rule, television and music had been also been banned, women were prevented from going shopping, and Malala's father, a teacher, was told that his school had to close. Malala used the blog to take an open, public stand and attract more attention from the international media.

Malala was in critical condition for many days after the attack. Her life was saved in a nearby military hospital, where British doctors stabilized her, then airlifted her to the United Kingdom for surgery, still wearing the blood-soaked uniform that now hangs in the museum.

She spent three months in hospital recovering and now lives in England with her family and continues her activism, which earned her the distinction in 2014 of becoming the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Malala Yousafzai was the target of Taliban assassins in 2012 after she became an outspoken advocate for her right to attend school. She's since gone on to become an international spokeswoman on the issue and has received a Nobel Prize. (Tanya Malott)

Malala was made an honorary Canadian citizen the same year and the UN has designated July 12 as Malala Day.

The exhibit "recognizes Malala as a human rights champion who continues to speak out, undaunted even by a gunman's attempt to silence her," Masson said.

"It's also about youth themselves as agents of change, taking a stand and being vocal."

In 2014, Malala's father, Ziauddin, visited the museum, which features two other exhibit elements about his daughter and her ongoing human rights work, campaigning for more than 60 million girls globally who are denied education because of discrimination, conflict and poverty.

Girl of Courage: Malala's Fight for Education is located in the museum's Rights Today gallery on Level 5.

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