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Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Malala

17 October 2014


Young laureate: Malala Yousafzai, on winning the Nobel Peace Prize

Young laureate: Malala Yousafzai, on winning the Nobel Peace Prize

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, the 17-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for asserting the right to go to school, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Miss Yousafzai, who now lives in Birmingham, was awarded the prize jointly with the Indian children's-rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. She is the youngest ever recipient of any Nobel Prize.

She was gravely injured in 2012 when a Pakistani Taliban assassin boarded her school bus and shot her in the head. She had become well-known after writing a blog for the BBC about life under the Taliban in Pakistan's Swat Valley, and as a campaigner for girls' right to education.

After recovering from the attack in Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, she settled there permanently with her family. She has since travelled the world, meeting world leaders including Barack Obama and the Queen, and speaking at the UN, on the importance of education and rights for girls.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Peace Prize, said in a statement that Miss Yousafzai and her joint laureate, Mr Satyarthi, were being given the Prize for their "struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".

The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, said on Tuesday that Miss Yousafzai was an inspiration. "Her advocacy of education for all girls worldwide is a challenge to pupils, teachers, families, and politicians everywhere.

"She was chosen to open our superb new Library of Birmingham and has inspired our Church of England Birmingham link with schoolchildren in Malawi. We are proud to have such a young Nobel Laureate in Birmingham and pray that her suffering and joyful example will lead other young women to change the world for the better."

Mr Satyarthi has campaigned against child labour and has been involved in establishing certification systems for guaranteeing products have been manufactured without the use of child labour.

The Committee described him as "maintaining Gandhi's tradition" in his activism, and noted the significance of a Hindu Indian joining in a "common struggle" with Miss Yousafzai, a Muslim Pakistani, for education and rights for children.

There are an estimated 168 million child labourers around the world, the Committee said, but this has fallen from 246 million in 2000.

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