A book will document the journeys of 25 exceptionally brave girls who fought oppression and defied regressive social norms for their right to education, the publishers HarperCollins India announced ahead of Malala Day. HarperCollins India has acquired the rights of the anthology which is compiled by Malala Fund and will be released in 2021.

July 12, which is also Malala’s birthday, has been declared by the UN as Malala Day in honour of the young activist.

Edited by Tess Thomas, editor of Assembly, the digital publication and newsletter of Malala Fund, the book will feature school-aged girls who are speaking out, tackling local issues in their communities and showing the next generation that they can do the same. “Malala Fund created Assembly, our digital publication and newsletter, to help more girls tell their stories just like Malala Yousafzai did. This print anthology will feature personal essays by girls around the world about their fight for education and equality,” said Thomas.

The book has not been titled yet.

Krishan Chopra, publisher at HarperCollins, said the book is of enormous relevance. “As a fallout of COVID-19, the dropout rate of girls in schools is expected to rise and the irony is that in academics, they are either equal or ahead of the boys, when given sufficient opportunities. We are delighted, therefore, to announce this anthology,” he said.

Commissioning editor of the book, Ananya Borgohain, added, “Because of COVID-19 and the lockdown, many people in India have lost their jobs, making it difficult especially for low-income households to sustain their children’s costs of education….It is important for people to know the stories that can give them not just hope but also crucial information about access to education. This is what this book will do.”

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