Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. On 10 October 2014, Yousafzai was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Having received the prize at the age of 17, Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel laureate. Yousafzai shared the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist from India.
In October 2011, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a South African activist, nominated Yousafzai for the International Children’s Peace Prize of the Dutch international children’s advocacy group KidsRights Foundation. She was the first Pakistani girl to be nominated for the award. Her public profile rose even further when she was awarded Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize two months later in December.On 19 December 2011, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani awarded her the National Peace Award for Youth.
On 9 October 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai as she rode home on a bus after taking an exam in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The masked gunman shouted “Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise, I will shoot you all”, and, on her being identified, shot at her. She was hit with one bullet, which went through her head, neck, and ended on her shoulder. Two other girls were also wounded in the shooting: Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, both of whom were stable enough to speak to reporters and provide details of the attack.
On 12 July 2015, her 18th birthday, Yousafzai opened a school in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, near the Syrian border, for Syrian refugees. The school, funded by the not-for-profit Malala Fund, offers education and training to girls aged 14 to 18 years. Yousafzai called on world leaders to invest in “books, not bullets”.
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