17-year-old Malala Yousafzai was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Friday morning. She is the youngest person ever to receive the prestigious award, sharing it with fellow children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. The two were honoured for their ongoing efforts to make education a basic right for children all over the world. The prize also comes with a cool $1.1 million.
Malala’s story is particularly important, especially in a world where misogyny and sexism continues to exist. It has only been two years since Malala was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban because of her outspoken views on education, and that every child, especially girls have access to it.
That gunshot was supposed to kill Malala and ultimately silence her message — but it didn’t. Instead, after months of recovery, Malala’s message got louder and was heard all over the world. In those two years not only has she become a worldwide advocate for children’s rights, she’s also the best-selling author of her memoir I am Malala, and was named one of TIMES Most Influential People. When she’s busy being a regular high school student, some of her extra curricular activities include being a global ambassador for children’s right, especially the right of young girls. Can I remind you that she’s only 17!
In a statement released by Nobel committee, they wrote, “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.”
Malala has become one of the world’s leading changemakers. She’s a true inspiration, whose name will rightfully sit alongside many other Peace Prize winners such Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
If she can accomplish all this in the span of two years, there’s no telling what she can accomplish in the next ten.