Malala Yousafzai is a married woman.
Yousafzai, 24. the Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced Tuesday on Instagram that she had gotten married, just months after she told British Vogue that she wasn’t sure whether she would ever marry.
“Today marks a precious day in my life,” she wrote. “Asser and I tied the knot to be partners for life. We celebrated a small nikkah ceremony at home in Birmingham with our families. Please send us your prayers. We are excited to walk together for the journey ahead.”
Yousafzai’s parents, Ziauddin and Toor Pekai Yousafzai, shared their excitement along with some photos by their daughter’s friend, photographer Malin Fezehai.
“It is beyond words,” Ziauddin Yousafzai tweeted. “Toor Pekai and I are overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Alhamdulillah.”
Malala Yousafzai talked with British Vogue this year about her feelings toward marriage, saying her parents had an “arranged love marriage” but expressing doubt about whether she would ever marry.
“I still don’t understand why people have to get married,” she said. “If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?”
Her parents disagreed with that notion.
“My mum is like, ‘Don’t you dare say anything like that! You have to get married, marriage is beautiful,’” she said.
She added that her father has received emails from men in Pakistan who wanted to marry her.
“Even until my second year of university, I just thought, ‘I’m never going to get married, never going to have kids — just going to do my work,’” she said. “‘I’m going to be happy and live with my family forever.’ I didn’t realize that you’re not the same person all the time. You change as well and you’re growing.”
Yousafzai is known for her advocacy work on behalf of girls and women, particularly in stressing education for girls around the world.
She became a well-known activist after she delivered an inspiring speech at the United Nations after she survived being shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan. She was 15 when she was shot because she was a girl pursuing an education.
Yousafzai, who still deals with the effects of the shooting, shared in August that she underwent her sixth operation as a result of the near-fatal injury she suffered nine years ago.
She also spoke up for the women and girls of Afghanistan who are once again under Taliban rule after the withdrawal of U.S. forces.