Children’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, 17, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Friday. Miss Yousafzai, originally from Pakistan but now living in England, become a household name after her campaigning for girls’ right to education led to an assassination attempt by the Taliban two years ago, and base worked tirelessly as a human rights campaigner following her recovery.
In a statement, the Nobel Peace Prize committee said: ‘Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai 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.
‘This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances.
‘Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.’
When a journalist at the press conference questioned why Malala was given the prize as she has ‘not achieved anything, the head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee Thorbjörn Jagland was swift to slam him.
‘How can you say that?! Thanks to Malala, the issue of child labour has been put on the world agenda.’
Malala is expected to make her first statement after winning the prize when she has finished school for the day, at 4.30pm, the Malala Fund said.
Her first cousin Mehmood ul-Hassan, the administrator of Khushal Public School where she studied before being shot, said the whole family was delighted she had received the award.
‘We cannot express the level of our happiness in words,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.