Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014.
At the age of just 17, Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai is the youngest ever recipient of the prize.
Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education. She now lives in Birmingham in the UK.
The Nobel committee praised the pair’s “struggle against the suppression of children and young people”.
Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi, 60, has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the committee said at the Nobel Institute in Oslo.
Kailash Satyarthi founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or the Save the Childhood Movement, which campaigns for child rights and an end to human trafficking.
Malala Yousafzai was taken out of her classroom in her new home city of Birmingham to hear the news on October 10.
Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, told the Associated Press that the prize would “boost the courage of Malala and enhance her capability to work for the cause of girls’ education”.
Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, paid tribute to Malala Yousafzai’s achievements.
“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,” he said.
“This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.”
The committee said it was important that a Muslim and a Hindu, a Pakistani and an Indian, had joined in what it called a common struggle for education and against extremism.
Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi will now be invited to attend an award ceremony in Oslo in December to receive a medal and $1.4 million pounds in prize money.
This year’s record number of 278 Nobel Peace Prize nominees included Pope Francis and Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, although the full list was kept a secret.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta had also been tipped as favorites for the award.
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