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
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
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
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