INSPIRING: Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan talks after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is one of the many teenagers making an immense difference on the world stage.
INSPIRING: Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan talks after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is one of the many teenagers making an immense difference on the world stage. FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Insiders guide to Gen-Z: Standing up for your beliefs

WE GROW up hearing thousands of stories about daily occurrences of normal civilians doing something miraculously heroic.

As a teenager, it's important to recognise the young heroes in our society just as much.

Knowing there are hundreds of individuals aged 15 to 18 standing up for causes they believe in to help others, is truly inspiring.

As I've mentioned before, this generation can come across as opinionated but it is simply the revolutionary social right we practice to speak up about what we believe in.

For years, teenagers and young adults have created campaigns, protests and used platforms to speak about something that negatively impacts a certain group of people.

Sometimes, teens taking a stand can suffer consequences in sharing their beliefs. In countries other than Australia, speaking freely isn't as accepted.

Such as in Pakistan, where the well-known Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education.

Despite having to survive an attempted assassination by the Taliban at the young age of 15, Yousafzai continued to be a strong advocate for girl's education in Pakistan.

She spoke for United Nations and was the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17.

Her movement has inspired people around the world and she is one of many teenagers making an immense difference for the present and the future.

Not so well-known but just as relevant, 15-year-old Zhan Haite stood up to the Shanghai education system after being refused entry to high school because of circumstances that deemed her "unworthy".

Haite refused to be declined an education, organised a protest in front of Shanghai's education bureau and posted numerous dissenting messages about it online, sparking a revolution.

Her family was briefly evicted and her father was put in jail for her actions but Chinese media got hold of the story and her fight for education equality was recognised nationally.

Stories like Yousafzai's and Haite's are examples of a strong and determined generation that stands up for what is right.

Along with thousands of others, they have done what people have wanted to for years, but have never dreamed of physically carrying out.

Knowing there are young activists out there making a difference is uplifting and shows that we are getting closer to international equality.

Being a part of a generation that makes it their duty to construct an equal future makes it extremely easy to be grateful about the time in which I am living.

There may be a long way to go to reach full equality, but it is thrilling to be alive to see it evolve.


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