Malala Yousafzai scores 'British Vogue' cover: 'I'm thrilled and humbled'

The Nobel Peace Prize winner opens up about her faith, her future and girls’ rights in an accompanying interview

Malala Yousafzai is the July cover star for 'British Vogue'. Instagram / British Vogue
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She's a noted activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Oxford University graduate, and Malala Yousafzai has just added another string to her bow: Vogue cover star.

The Pakistani education campaigner, who in 2014 became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, is the face of British Vogue's July issue.

The activist, who rose to prominence aged 11 after blogging about life under the Taliban, wears a sustainable shirt and headscarf, in a striking scarlet, by Stella McCartney in the cover shot.

Yousafzai, 23, revealed she was "thrilled and humbled" to feature on the magazine's cover as she shared a photo of the publication on her social media channels.

"I know the power that a young girl carries in her heart when she has a vision and a mission – and I hope that every girl who sees this cover will know that she can change the world," she wrote.

Yousafzai also thanked editor-in-chief Edward Enninful "for creating a British Vogue where all of us belong".

The fashion magazine shared further shots of the activist taken for the issue, as she posed for a series of portraits.

"When it comes to people I admire, Malala Yousafzai is right at the top. At 23, the world’s most famous university graduate has already lived so many lives," Enniful said in his editor's letter.

In an accompanying interview, Yousafzai – who in 2012 survived an attack by a Taliban gunman – opened up about her faith, family life and hopes for the future.

“Where do I live next? Should I continue to live in the UK, or should I move to Pakistan, or another country?" she pondered.

"The second question is, who should I be living with? Should I live on my own? Should I live with my parents? I’m currently with my parents, and my parents love me, and Asian parents especially, they want their kids to be with them forever.”

Yousafzai graduated from the University of Oxford in 2020 with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics.

She has spent more than 10 years campaigning for girls' educational rights but has many other projects under her belt, such as recently inking a production deal with Apple TV+. The activist also founded the Malala Fund, an organisation offering education opportunities to girls around the globe.

In her Vogue interview, Yousafzai also spoke about wearing her headscarf, telling journalist Sirin Kale it represented more than just her faith.

“It’s a cultural symbol for us Pashtuns, so it represents where I come from. And Muslim girls or Pashtun girls or Pakistani girls, when we follow our traditional dress, we’re considered to be oppressed, or voiceless, or living under patriarchy," she said.

"I want to tell everyone that you can have your own voice within your culture, and you can have equality in your culture.”

She also revealed what to expect from her deal with Apple TV+, telling Vogue: "I want these shows to be entertaining and the sort of thing I would watch."

"If I don't laugh at them or enjoy them, I won't put them on-screen," she said. She hopes to produce comedies alongside heavier documentaries.

The July issue of British Vogue goes on sale on Friday.