Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old fearless children’s rights activist made history when she became the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
The prize was awarded jointly to Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, 60, of India for their work fighting for children’s rights and education. Yousafzai has dedicated her young life to furthering girls’ education.
“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,” the Nobel committee said in a statement. “This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances.”
In October 2012, when Yousafzai was 14, a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus in Pakistan and shot her in the head for her outspokenness about girls’ right to an education. In the following year, she made a full recovery and continued her activism. “They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed,” she said in a speech to the United Nations following her attack.
Previously, the youngest winner of the Peace Prize was Tawakkol Karman, a 32-year-old women’s rights activist from Yemen. Yousafzai is also one of only 44 women to be awarded a Nobel Prize out of 862 people and organizations in the award’s history.
“I’m proud that I’m the first Pakistani and the first young woman or the first young person getting this award,” she said in a speech while accepting the award.