Pakistan’s activist Malala and Indian campaigner Kailash win Nobel Peace Prize
Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for committing their lives to fighting for the right of all children to education.
Malala survived after being shot in the head in 2012 by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan for insisting that girls should go to school. The 17-year-old Pakistani is the youngest person to be awarded the globally prestigious annual prize.
Malala had just turned 11 when she began speaking out in TV interviews, championing the importance of girls’ education in Pakistan. On 9th October 2012, she was critically injured when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head.
Her recovery – assisted by the bullet not entering her brain and the intervention of British doctors visiting Pakistan – meant she would go on to become one of the most memorable and important education and children’s rights activist in the world.
She currently lives in Birmingham with her family and attends a local school. She has won many human rights prizes including the European Parliament’s Sakharov Award.
The teenager shares the accolade with Indian campaigner Kailash Satyarthi, who runs a non government organisation (NGO) Bachpan Bachao Andolan in New Delhi.
The NGO has led the fight against child labour by evoking domestic and international consumer resistance to products made by bonded children and Mr Satyarthi has been involved in direct legal and advocacy work.
Through a number of training programmes, Satyarthi works with children who have been sold to pay their parents’ debts, helping them to create new lives and serve as “agents of prevention” within their communities.
The head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjoern Jagland stated: “ The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”
Other Nobel prizes in medicine, chemistry, literature and physics were announced earlier in the week; the economic prize is due to be announced on Monday.
Awards will be presented on 10th December 2014, which is the 118th anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896.