Girl power! Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai wins Nobel Peace Prize
Malala Yousafzai was critically injured in October 2012, when she was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan (File/AFP)
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Children's rights activists Malala Yousafzai, 17, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Friday.
Miss Yousafzai became a household name after her campaigning for girls' right to education led to an assassination attempt by the Taliban two years ago, and has worked tirelessly as a human rights campaigner, speaking around the globe, including the UN, after her recovery.
The Pakistani schoolgirl, who now lives with her family in Birmingham, is the youngest ever to receive the Nobel Prize.
In a statement, the Nobel Peace Prize 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.'
When a journalist at the press conference questioned why Malala was given the prize as she has ‘not achieved anything, the head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee Thorbjörn Jagland was swift to slam him.
‘How can you say that?! Thanks to Malala, the issue of child labour has been put on the world agenda.'
Miss Yousafzai was barely 11 years old when she began championing girls' education, speaking out in TV interviews.
The Taliban had overrun her home town of Mingora, terrorizing residents, threatening to blow up girls' schools, ordering teachers and students into the all-encompassing burqas.
She was critically injured in October 2012, when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head.
A bullet narrowly missed her brain and she was later airlifted to Britain for specialist treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she underwent numerous surgeries and made a strong recovery.
Malala currently lives with her father, mother and two brothers in Birmingham, attending a local school.
She has since written a book, I Am Malala, spoken to international audiences and on television and has been been showered with human rights prizes, including the European Parliament's Sakharov Award.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that she had been jointly awarded the prestigious Peace Prize together with Indian children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.
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 Nobel committee said.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the two 'for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education
‘We have awarded two people, from Pakistan and India, a Muslim and a Hindi, and it is in itself a strong thing,to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,’ Jagland said, adding that he thought the committee’s decision would be well received around the world.
The Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, physics and literature were announced earlier this week. The economics award will be announced on Monday.
All awards will be handed out on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896, the Peace Prize in Oslo, all others in Stockholm.
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