Her age and her gender were two of the greatest impediments in her life in Pakistan, but Malala Yousafzai has defied these barriers to be named the winner of the 2014 Nobel peace prize.
The Guardian reported that Malala, along Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, were awarded the Nobel peace prize. The announcement was made by chairman of the Nobel committee — Norway’s former prime minister Thorbjoern Jagland — on October 10.
According to the Daily Mail, Malala found out she won the Nobel prize while she was in chemistry class, and decided to speak about her reaction to the prize after she had finished school for the day.
The 17-year-old education activist shared how she felt about being awarded the Nobel.
“I’m proud I’m the first Pakistani and the first young woman or the first young person who is getting this award. It’s a great honour for me,” she said.
She went on to thank her family and friends for their support.
“First of all I would like to thank my family, my dear father and my dear mother, for their love and support. As my father always said, he did not give me something extra but he did not clip my wings. I’m thankful to my father for not clipping my wings, for letting me fly and achieve my goals. For showing to the world that a girl is not supposed to be the slave. A girl has the power to go forward in her life. She’s not only a mother, she’s not only a sister, she’s not only a wife, but she should have an identity, she has equal rights and she should be recognized as a voice. This is encouragement for me to go forward and believe in myself and know there are people who are supporting me in this campaign. And we are standing together. We all want to make sure that every child gets quality education.”
According to The Inquisitr, Malala first came to prominence in 2012 when she was shot by attackers as she rode in a school bus. The incident made international headlines because of its brutal nature and the young age of Yousafzai — who was one of three girls injured in the attack. She was was targeted because of her activism in a campaign opposing the Taliban, who deny an education to girls.
Malala will collect the Nobel peace prize at a ceremony in December.
[Image via United Nations]