Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today. Along with honoring Kailash Satyarthi of India, the committee decided to focus on children’s rights and religious conflicts for this year’s award.
In 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban after she asserted that girls have the same rights to education as boys. Since her recovery, she has been a prominent advocate for girls’ education. The award, which could have gone to Russian President Vladimir Putin, highlighted the widening scope of the criteria for those receiving it, as it had historically been given to those who limit armed conflicts — hence, Peace Prize.
The committee had almost 300 candidates to decide from, which was a record. The pool of candidates notably included Pope Francis, but the majority of the nominees were kept a secret. The Malala Fund, an organization she started to advance girls’ education, tweeted this morning that Malala would be making a statement later today.
She once criticized a past Peace Prize winner, President Barack Obama, for using drone strikes in the Middle East, telling him that they “fuel terrorism” in a visit she made to the Oval Office last year.
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