Malala’s message on her first day at Oxford University is both inspirational and emotional

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Susan Devaney
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Malala Yousafzai has started her studies at Oxford University, marking five years since she was shot by the Taliban for championing education for girls in Pakistan.

Taking to Twitter on Monday (9 October), she shared an inspirational tweet with her thousands of followers as she embarked upon a degree in politics, philosophy and economics.

And her message highlighted just how far she has come since first deciding she wasn’t going to stay silent on women’s rights, even though speaking out risked her life.

“5 years ago, I was shot in an attempt to stop me from speaking out for girls’ education,” she wrote, alongside a picture of her textbooks and laptop.

“Today, I attend my first lectures at Oxford.”

Her words have struck a chord with fans around the world, with people leaving her congratulatory comments – along with thousands of retweets.

In 2012, Yousafzai was 15 years old when she was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen who objected to her going to school and having spoken out about girls having the right to an education. She had also been blogging under a pseudonym for the BBC.

Following the shooting, she was flown to Birmingham for treatment and intensive rehabilitation and has remained in the city with her family.

In 2014, Yousafzai became the youngest ever winner of a Nobel Prize at age 17, for her continued championing of education for all, and earlier this year was named the UN’s youngest-ever Messenger of Peace.

She’s previously said that actress Emma Watson inspired her to become a feminist. Watson was interviewing Yousafzai at the premiere of her documentary film He Named Me Malala in 2015.

“This word feminism has been a very tricky word,” Yousafzai explained.

“And when I heard it the first time I hesitated in saying 'Am I a feminist or not?' and then after hearing your speech when you said, 'If not now, when? If not me, who?' I decided that there's nothing wrong with calling yourself a feminist ... because feminism is another word for equality.”

Images: Rex Features