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Malala wins Nobel Peace Prize

Teenage education campaigner Malala Yousafzai today became the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 17-year-old became a worldwide figure after surviving an assassination attempt in 2012 by militants in her native Pakistan, who were angered by her calls for girls to have equal rights to education.

A bullet narrowly missed her brain. But she recovered after being airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, and has since taken her campaign on to the global stage.

The Nobel committee said: “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.

“This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education.”

Malala's campaign has led to her speaking before the UN, meeting US president Barack Obama and being named by Time magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people.

The Pakistani army said last month that a gang of 10 Taliban fighters who tried to kill her had been arrested.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the prestigious prize jointly to Malala and Indian children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.

The decision makes Malala the youngest ever winner of any Nobel prize, taking over from Lawrence Bragg, who was 25 when he was awarded the prize for physics, with his father, in 1915.

This year's peace prize had a record 278 nominations and included US whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis.

Previous winners include Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr Obama, who was controversially handed the gong in 2009.

Related stories:

Meeting Malala: The shy girl with an infectious thirst for education -17 September 2014

Malala announces day of silence to raise awareness of children's rights - 7 March 2014

Related resources:

Malala Day

Resources and lesson plans aligned to Malala Day – a day of global campaigning for a child’s right to receive an education.   

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Explore how social media has been used as a medium for protest with this lesson on the Arab Spring.


Who are your students’ heroes? Could Malala Yousafzai be considered a hero? Discuss what “heroic” means with this assembly presentation.

Want or need?

Sorting cards from UNICEF UK to help students define basic human rights.  

Give more

What can students do to help others? Encourage them to be charitable with resources from Give More.


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