She began writing a blog when she was just 11 under a pseudonym for the BBC about life under the Taliban, and began speaking out publicly in 2009 about the need for girls' education. The Taliban strongly opposes education for women, and the group has claimed responsibility for the Tuesday attack.
Private schools in the Swat Valley were closed on Wednesday in a sign of protest over the shooting and in solidarity with Malala, said Ahmed Shah, the chairman of an association of private schools. Flags in front of the Mingora government headquarters were at half-staff, and police officers stood guard outside her family's house.
A demonstration was expected to be held later on Wednesday at the press club in Mingora and another one was under way in the eastern city of Lahore. In the southern port city of Karachi, the city's main political party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, was having a service at their headquarters to pray for the girl's recovery.
The front pages of both English- and Urdu-language newspapers were plastered with stories and pictures of Malala. Television channels constantly replayed footage of her being taken to the hospital in Peshawar as well as clips from previous appearances she'd made while promoting girls' education.
Image: Pakistani Islamist activists carry photographs of the gunshot victim Malala Yousafzai during a protest rally against her assassination attempt, in Lahore on October 10, 2012.