Teen wins Nobel Peace Prize, youngest winner ever Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, the joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (Reuters)
Teen wins Nobel Peace Prize, youngest winner ever
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Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India have won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for risking their lives to fight for children's rights. The announcement made Malala, a 17-year-old student and education activist, the youngest-ever Nobel winner.

The news set off celebrations on the streets of Mingora, the main town in Pakistan's volatile Swat Valley, with residents greeting each other and distributing sweets. At the town's Khushal Public School, which is owned by Malala's father, students danced in celebration.

Two years ago, when she was a student there, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for insisting that girls as well as boys have the right to an education. Thanks to the help of British medical care, she survived several operations and now continues both her activism and her studies.

Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, said the decision will further the rights of girls.

"(The Nobel will) boost the courage of Malala and enhance her capability to work for the cause of girls' education," he told the AP.

Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the decision "has given pride to the whole of Pakistan."

The second recipient of the prize, Satyarthi, 60, has been at the forefront of a global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labor since 1980. That's when he gave up his career as an electrical engineer. He has since led the rescue of tens of thousands of child slaves and developed a model for their education and rehabilitation. He has also survived several attempts on his life.

"Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here. A lot of work still remains but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime," Satyarthi told The Associated Press at his office in New Delhi. "If any child is a child slave in any part of the world, it is a blot on humanity. It is a disgrace."

Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said it was important to reward both an Indian Hindu and a Pakistani Muslim for joining "in a common struggle for education and against extremism." The two will split the Nobel award of $1.1 million.

By highlighting children's rights, the committee widened the scope of the peace prize, which in its early days was given for efforts to end or prevent armed conflicts.

Many around the world praised the Nobel committee for focusing on children.

"The true winners today are the world's children," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He praised Satyarthi's "heroic work" and Malala's "courage and determination."

Raised in Pakistan's politically volatile Swat Valley, Malala was barely 11 years old when she began to champion girls' education. She would speak out in TV interviews.

She was critically injured on Oct. 9, 2012, when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head. She survived through luck the bullet did not enter her brain and by the quick intervention of British doctors visiting Pakistan.

Flown to Britain for specialist treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, she underwent numerous surgeries and made a strong recovery. Malala now lives with her father, mother and two brothers in Birmingham and goes to the private Edgbaston High School for girls.

The Nobel committee said Satyarthi was carrying on the tradition of another great Indian, Mahatma Gandhi, who remains the most notable omission in the 113-year history of the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Gandhi's tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the committee said.

India's President Pranab Mukherjee said "the prize should be seen as recognition of the contributions of India's vibrant civil society in addressing complex social problems such as child labor."

A.N.S. Ahmed, a well-known sociologist in India, said the award should prod the Indian government to do more in a country where a large number of children must support their families by engaging in dangerous jobs.

"The award will have a deep impact not just on the Indian government, but also on the civil society, to work with passion and improve the condition of children by enforcing their rights," he said.

The founder of the Nobel Prizes, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, said the peace prize should go to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

The committee has interpreted those instructions differently over time, widening the concept of peace work to include efforts to improve human rights, fight poverty and clean up the environment.

All awards will be handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.

Critical thinking challenge: Why did Thorbjoern Jagland believe it was important to reward both a Hindu from India and a Muslim from Pakistan? What do they have in common, what makes them different and which is more important?

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COMMENTS (8)
  • tallenl
    10/17/2014 - 10:14 a.m.

    A young girl Malala Yousafzai was standing aginst the talaban and making speechs about everyone should get a education. One day the talaban fount her on a bus with her friends and opened fire. She was shot in the head and had to be tooken to the hospital. there hospitals could not do anything so an avanced hospital in britian transfered her to them and had to do sugery. she did recover and she is still making speeechs.

  • brandonj-Koc
    10/19/2014 - 03:14 p.m.

    Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India have won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize this shows how determined these young woman are and what they are willing to do to accomplish their goals and how this proves their effort in receiving the nobel peace prize as the first young woman to receive this award.

  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    10/20/2014 - 09:10 a.m.

    I look at this girl as a hero to all girls in the world. To be able to stick up for yourself and others on such a difficult topic, really makes me look up to her. It is great that she is able to do this for others.

  • HunterHa-Wil
    10/21/2014 - 11:05 a.m.

    I think she is very brave because she stood up to the guy that shot her in there head and survived. i was wondering how she survived getting shot. I was also wondering were she got shot in the head.

  • BrigitteA-3
    10/24/2014 - 12:07 a.m.

    17 year old Malala Yousafzai recently won the Noble Prize for risking her own life to stand up for the rights of girls' educations. She is the youngest person to ever receive the Noble Prize. Two years ago, while Malala was on the school bus heading to school, she was shot in the head. Luckily, the bullet did not enter her brain thanks to the British doctors visiting the area at that time. Another person to win a Nobel Prize in was 60 year old, Kailash Satyarthi, for standing up to unlawful child labor. Both recipients of the prize are to equally share the prize money of $1.1 million. The Two recipients continue to make a difference in many peoples' lives daily. I love how everyday people can make such a drifference in so many peoples' lives everyday. I wish that these kind of events would be happening more often and that I can one day, make a big difference too.

  • VictoriaRuizR
    10/29/2014 - 12:06 a.m.

    Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi were the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winners for their brave and perseverance in children's rights. They are from Pakistan and India. Also they have put their lives at risk, because they claim children must have access to education. For instance, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman when she was in high school, but it seems that only encouraged her to keep fighting for all children. On the other hand, Satyarthi, who is 60, has been at the forefront of a global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labor since 1980. Therefore, he has survived to many attempts to his life.
    In my opinion, they deserve this prize for their encouragement and bravery when protecting helpless children. As we have seen in my classes, there should be more categories, for teachers, sports, environmental care and many more, because there are also people fighting for those aspects of life.

  • SoleilE-5
    10/31/2014 - 12:40 a.m.

    Malala Yousafzai recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to fight for girls' education in Pakistan. Malala was shot in the head on October 9, 2012 when a Taliban gunman boarded the school bus she was on. After she recovered, Malala continues to fight for girls' right to education, especially in her home country, Pakistan. Malala has become the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. Kailash Satyarthi, the second winner of the prize, has been fighting to end child slavery for forty years. Having two different races and religions receive the award helps to show how peaceful connections between different people are possible.
    I think it is amazing that after being shot in the head, Malala continues to fight for the cause she believes in, I would be petrified to even leave me house. She shows that children are capable of amazing things many adults are not. I think she and Satyarthi both deserved the award for their contributions to society. The statement of having two very different people win is also very honorable in my eyes.

  • Josh01Chargers
    11/04/2014 - 08:40 p.m.

    Malala is very brave. She stood up for what she believed in no matter the consequence. She is truly a hero. More adults should be like her and stand up for everyone's rights to live free and without fear.

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