Pakistani teenage rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012, is among three persons nominated for an award known as the “Children’s Nobel Prize”.
The 16-year-old has been nominated for the 2014 World’s Children’s Prize with John Wood from the US, who has given millions of children in 10 countries access to libraries and education, and Nepalese child rights worker Indira Ranamagar. Every year, the World’s Children’s Prize Child Jury, comprising around 15 children from across the globe, selects three final candidates for the award. The award is given by a Sweden-based organisation.
The World’s Children’s Prize website said Yousafzai, currently living in Britain with her family, was nominated for her “courageous and dangerous fight for girls” right to education”. It said: “She started to speak out for girls’ rights at the age of 11, when the Taliban banned girls from going to school in the Swat Valley” in northwest Pakistan.
“Malala defied the rules and kept going to school. Her life was under threat and at times she had to go into hiding. Finally, at the age of 15 Malala was shot and almost killed by the Taliban on her way home from school. But Malala survived,” it added.
The Taliban thought they could “silence Malala by killing her” but instead “they gave her an even stronger voice, which can now be heard all over the world”, the website said.
Yousafzai is determined to continue her struggle for every child’s right to education and believes that “one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”. The annual programme concludes with a “Global Vote”, where children work together to choose their Child Rights Hero. “Global Vote Days” are held in schools around the world like a democratic election. The award programme, launched in 2000, is supported by 60,000 schools with 29.3 million students in 109 countries and over 600 organisations.