The grueling events that Malala Yousafzai has experienced—namely being shot in the head and receiving numerous death threats—would have been enough to silence most people. But not only did she keep going to school after the Taliban tried to assassinate her in 2012, she kept talking about it. In fact, she used her horrific story to launch an international discussion about girls' right to an education, speaking in front of the United Nations last year. Now, she has been rewarded for her activism with the Nobel Peace Prize. At just 17 years old, Malala is the youngest person ever to receive the prestigious award. [Tweet this news!]
But this year's Nobel Peace prize is notable for another major reason too: Pakistani Malala received the award jointly with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian man who is fighting against child slavery. The Nobel committee commended the pair "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."
"It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected," the Committee said. "In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation."
In addition, India and Pakistan have a famously hostile relationship so people are hoping the joint award will have meaning far beyond children's rights.
After decades spent rescuing thousands of children, Kailash said his Nobel is a testament to all who are "sacrificing their time and their lives for the cause of child rights" by fighting child slavery. "It is a great honor for all those children who are deprived of their childhood globally," he said in a statement this morning.
Malala has been very busy in the two years since she was shot, working tirelessly to ensure girls have access to a safe, affordable and equal education. In addition to speaking worldwide about her experience. And in spite of continuing threats on her life, she's also started a fund to help build schools. When asked to make a statement about winning the Nobel, she said she'd be happy to—right after she gets out of school today.