Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani teenager who spoke against the Taliban
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai will on Wednesday 20 November formally receive the 2013 European Parliament Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought and human rights.
Malala Yousafzai is a world famous Pakistani teenager who spoke out against the Pakistani Taliban’s closure of girls’ schools in her region of the Swat valley. In October 2012 she narrowly survived an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen. She has since captured the world’s imagination with her continued fight for access to education for girls and boys worldwide.
British MEP Sir Graham Watson was the first to put Malala Yousafzai forward as a nominee and led the campaign for her to be awarded the European Parliament prize.
Commenting, Sir Graham said:
“Malala’s ability to stand up, look violence squarely in the eyes and respond with nothing but compassion is deeply moving.”
“Education is by far the most powerful tool we have for world development. I was inspired to nominate Malala because of the way she, with her ‘weapons of books and pens’, now personifies the fight for the universal right to education.”
“Hers is a story of David and Goliath. With grit and determination, a single schoolgirl has humiliated a powerful militant Islamist organisation. Malala and her father have achieved something incredible – she is winning the moral argument. And now, thanks to having won the Sakharov human rights prize, she knows that the European Parliament will back her all the way.”