Malala Yousufzai is already a global leader: she won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 after becoming an advocate for women and girls around the world.
But now the 19-year-old wants to focus on actually leading her home country, Pakistan, in the future.
At a conference in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, Yousufzai said that someday she hopes to become the prime minister of Pakistan, Gulf News reported.
She said she had grown up thinking women could only become doctors, teachers, or housewives.
“But when I saw women role models, it broadened my vision. I saw Benazir Bhutto as a woman leader [who was] twice the prime minister of Pakistan. I heard about women athletes, women astronauts, women artists, women entrepreneurs … It allowed me to recognize the potential that I had, and that I can have as a woman, to achieve anything in my life,” she said.
“My dream changed from becoming a doctor to becoming the prime minister of Pakistan,” Yousafzai said.
Yousufzai gained notoriety after surviving a Taliban attack on a school bus in 2012. She had been an outspoken advocate of education in her country for years, writing for the BBC about the threat of militants and winning a National Youth Peace Prize in 2011.
As she gained fame, the Taliban plotted the school bus attack, meant to injure or kill Yousafzai and deter others from wanting to gain an education.
But it didn’t deter Yousufzai. She recovered from a gunshot wound to the head and became an international figure as she continued to press for access to education, leading Pakistan to pass a law guaranteeing education for girls.
Yousufzai said today that as prime minister, she would ensure education was available for everyone in Pakistan.
Yousafzai spoke at the opening of a conference titled “Building the Resilience of Women and Girls in the Arab Region.”