Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating girls’ right to education, and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi fighting against child slavery were awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Yousafzai, 17, is the youngest Nobel Prize winner, Reuters reported.
Satyarthi, 60, and Yousafzai were picked for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children” to education, the five-member Nobel Committee said.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”–Thorbjoern Jagland” author_title=” Head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee”]
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,
The joint honor came at a time when cross-border violence erupted between India and Pakistan in the disputed, mainly Muslim region of Kashmir, leaving at least 17 people dead and 100 people injured, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Yousafzai was attacked in 2012 while on her way home from school in the conservative northwestern town of Swat Valley by masked militants. The shooting served as a retribution for a blog that she wrote for the BBC narrating her campaign as an 11-year old against the Taliban’s attempts to deprive women’s right to education.
She moved to Britain after her recovery, founding the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups based in Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.
Satyarthi, on the other hand, has been advocating against child labor in India for decades through his organization, Save the Childhood Movement. The group says it has rescued more than 83,000 Indian children from slavery in the country since 1981.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee picked the winner out of 278 nominations, which included former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and Pope Francis.