As the world celebrates the International Girl Child’s Day, Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai, at 17, has been declared the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Award. She will share the award with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, whose organization works towards protecting children from slavery, extremism and child labor.


Yousafzai, who was in school when the award was announced, chose to address the media after her classes. She told “This award is for all those children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard. They have the right to receive quality education. They have the right not to suffer from child labor, not to suffer from child trafficking. They have the right to live a happy life.”


She expressed her happiness on sharing the award with Satyarthi, who too has been deeply involved in helping oppressed and abused children. Yousafzai also invited the Prime Ministers of both India and Pakistan to attend the Award Ceremony in December. Her father said, “[this award will] boost the courage of Malala and enhance her capability to work for the cause of girls’ education.”


Satyarthi, who left engineering to start his NGO, told the Associated Press at his office in New Delhi, “Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here. A lot of work still remains, but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime.”


[Picture Courtesy: Hindustan Times]

Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland announced that both Yousafzai and Satyarthi will split the winning amount. He also said, “There is a lot of extremism coming from this part of the world. It is partly coming from the fact that young people don’t have a future. They don’t have education. They don’t have a job…”


Both the recipients of the award have worked towards freeing and empowering young girls and their efforts being recognized internationally, a day before the International Girl Child’s Day, seems even more ceremonious.