Pakistani teen, Indian activist win Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Oct 10 awarded the 2014 peace prize to Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India for their work in helping to promote universal schooling and protecting children worldwide from abuse and exploitation, the Associated Press reported.

Malala Yousafzai opens the new Library of Birmingham at Centenary Square on September 3, 2013, in Birmingham, England. The new futuristic building was officially opened by 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai who was attacked by Taliban gunmen on her school bus near her former home in Pakistan in October 2012. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person to receive the prize, “has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations,” the committee wrote. “This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.”

About 60 percent of the population in the world’s poorest countries is under 25. “It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected,” the committee wrote. “In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.”

Ms Yousafzai’s work has been written about numerous times.

“Private schools in Pakistan’s troubled north-western Swat district have been ordered to close in a Taliban edict banning girls’ education,” Gul Makai wrote in an entry on Ms Yousafzai’s blog in 2012. “Militants seeking to impose their austere interpretation of Sharia law have destroyed about 150 schools in the past year. Five more were blown up despite a government pledge to safeguard education, it was reported on Monday. Here a seventh grade schoolgirl from Swat chronicles how the ban has affected her and her classmates.”

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Paul Katula
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