10 October 2014

Much meaning and symbolism in this year's Nobel Peace Prize

Today, the Nobel Committee announced that Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India will share this year's Nobel Peace Prize "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."

Malala was shot by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012 for advocating for girls' right to education. The tragedy only inspired her to work even harder, and on an international scale.

Satyarthi has worked for more than three decades as a children's rights activist, focusing on issues such as child labor and slavery.

This year's award is remarkable for a number of reasons.

First, 17-year-old Malala becomes the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Second, the Nobel Committee "regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism."

"Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai are both incredible examples of each individual's power to improve our world," said Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. "Though they are decades apart in age, and though they hail from two countries historically hostile to one another, they share a common commitment to peace, justice, and human dignity. They are richly deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize."

Huge congratulations to both of these great human rights defenders, with thanks for their hard work, their courage, and their strength. I am inspired.

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