Pakistan: Girl Shot by Taliban Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Saturday, October 18, 2014 1:45 PM

Malala Yousafzai has won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to promote girls’ equality through education. A native of Pakistan, Malala began her campaign as an online advocate for girls’ education when she was just 11 years old. In 2012, members of the Taliban militia in Pakistan shot Malala in the head as part of their violent strategy to keep girls out of school. After recovering from her injuries at a hospital in the United Kingdom, Malala continued her campaign to expand equal access to education and opportunity for all girls around the world. She also created the Malala Fund with her father to support education initiatives for Syrian refuges in Jordan and for children in Pakistan, Nigeria and Kenya.

October 11 marked the third annual United Nation’s International Day of the Girl Child. The theme of this year’s event was, “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence." Several world leaders recognized Malala on the International Day of the Girl for winning the Nobel Prize and for her work to prevent violence against girls through education and empowerment. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Malala’s resilience and courage challenge us all to support the struggle against brutality, ignorance, and violence . . . She inspires hope in millions of people and embodies our commitment to human rights and education.” In Pakistan, advocates welcomed Malala’s award, but also noted “the dismal figures of female literacy and school enrolment in our country.” They called for a much broader effort within Pakistan “to bring an end to the brutal denial of education to women.”

In addition to becoming the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner at age 17, Malala was honored by Pakistan with the country’s first National Peace Prize in 2011, and by the European Parliament with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, in 2013.

Compiled from: Kantor, Jodi, Malala Yousafzai, Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Adds to Her Achievements and Expectations, The New York Times (October 10, 2014); Brumfield, Ben, Malala's journey from near death to the Nobel Peace Prize, CNN World (October 10, 2014);  Reed, Carey, UN highlights gender inequality on International Day of the Girl, PBS NewsHour (October 11, 2014); International Day of the Girl Child: As Pakistan toasts Malala’s win, activists plead for introspection, The Express Tribune (October 12, 2014).