Pakistani women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize for her extensive campaigning for educational rights of girls. She shares the award with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.
Photo courtesy of WENN.com
Pakistani female education activist Malala Yousafzai continues to dazzle the world with her accomplishments, becoming the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which she shares with Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi. How incredible is that?
Malala — who grew up under Taliban control in the Swat Valley and under prohibition of women’s education — gained attention in 2009 when she began writing a blog for the BBC about the struggles of living under Taliban occupation and her support for proper education. She appeared on numerous TV shows and gave newspaper interviews to promote women’s right to learn. In 2012, when Malala was only 15 years old, a gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head for her outspoken views. She survived the attack and continues her activism as well as her studies now in Birmingham, U.K.
“This award is for all those children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard,” said Malala in her address to the media. The young activist was notified of her win of the award during chemistry class and wanted to finish her school day before making a statement. “They have the right to receive quality education. They have the right not to suffer from child labour, not to suffer from child trafficking. They have the right to live a happy life.”
Upon hearing the news, the residents of Malala’s hometown, Mingora, in the troubled Swat Valley, took to the streets in celebration. The 17-year-old is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, with the previous youngest winner being 32-year-old activist Tawakkol Karman of Yemen in 2011.
Of course, Mr. Satyarthi is equally deserving of the honour, being a pivotal figure in the fight for children’s rights. The 60-year-old activist started the Save the Childhood Movement, campaigning for children’s rights and the end of human trafficking.
“It’s a great honour for all the Indians, it’s an honour for all those children who have been still living in slavery despite of all the advancement in technology, market and economy,” Satyarthi told BBC about winning the award. “And I dedicate this award to all those children in the world.”
The Norwegian Nobel Committee noticeably opted to unite the forces of an Islamic activist and a Hindu activist under an award for peace while also highlighting the issue of children’s rights. We hope that perhaps this show of unity will inspire more tranquility in the region and inspire others to stand up for their rights to live happily.
Malala, being so young, is showing a lot of promise, and we hope we will continue to see great things from her. She can represent all the women powerless under oppression and maybe will even inspire subsequent generations.