OSLO- The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly Friday to 17-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, and to India’s Kailash Satyarthi for their championing of children’s rights.
Malala, the youngest Nobel laureate, heard the news while in class at her school in Birmingham, England, where she moved from Pakistan to receive life-saving treatment two years ago.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the duo had been chosen for their struggle against the repression of children and young people and “for the right of all children to education.”
Malala, who had fought for years for the right of girls to education in her strictly Muslim home region, leapt to global fame after the Taliban tried to gun her down in October 2012.
Her campaign, the Nobel committee said, has been carried out “under the most dangerous circumstances.”
“Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education,” the committee said.
The selection of such a young winner was bound to be eye-catching, but another unusual aspect of this year’s prize was the choice of citizens from the hostile neighbours of India and Pakistan. Seventeen civilians have been killed in the last few days in the disputed Kashmir region, the worst violence for decades.