Malala Yousafzai dazzles the Oscars with jewellery once owned by Queen Soraya

Nobel Laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai paid a subtle tribute to Queen Soraya of Afghanistan by wearing a piece of jewellery previously owned by the Afghan queen. 

Malala attended the Oscars in Hollywood on Sunday night to support her nominated documentary, Stranger At The Gate. She walked the red carpet wearing a silver sequin gown by Ralph Lauren Collection and vintage earrings from Fred Leighton, which were once belonged to Queen Soraya.

Queen Soraya was considered a pioneering figure alongside her husband, King Amanullah Khan, who reigned from 1919 to 1929, who advocated for gender equality in 20th century Afghanistan’s deeply conservative society. 

Queen Soraya established Afghanistan’s first women’s journal, Irshad-e Naswan (Guide for Women) in 1921. Malala’s apparent tribute to Queen Soraya is seen as reminder of the struggle of women and girls in Afghanistan. 

Malala survived an attack by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012. Following recovery from her injuries, she became a global education activist. 

In November 2022, Malala called on the UK government to support Afghan women living under the Taliban. She accused world leaders of going “silent” as the Taliban increasingly oppressed women and girls.