Applauding the decision to award the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai, Susannah McDonald hopes that Malala’s courage inspires others to stand up for their right to education.


Two years ago, the world was shocked when it learned that a 15-year-old Pakistani girl had been targeted by the Taliban and shot in the head due to her outspoken campaigning for girls’ education.

Last week, she became the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Alongside Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian children’s rights activist, Malala Yousafzai accepted the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, but she didn’t leave school early. Oh no, as an education activist, Malala finished her school day before speaking about her record-breaking achievement.

Most of us believe that education is a basic human right for all children, but how far would we all go? Would we continue our fight after being shot or would we leave it up to someone else to carry the torch?

Alongside many worthy applicants for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Malala spoke to the children of the world, encouraging them to stand up for what is rightfully theirs. You would think that after been airlifted to a hospital in the United Kingdom (where she now resides) and being treated for obviously life-threatening injuries, you would take a bit of a break? Maybe a couple of years off to focus on being a teenage girl?

When you look at the life of most teenage girls these days, you could safely assume in another life she would be spending time shopping with her friends, stalking boys on social media and gossiping at a coffee shop (stereotypical, I know). Not Malala. She spent the next two years speaking before the United Nations, having a personal meeting with the President of the United States, publishing a memoir and becoming one of Time’s most 100 influential people of the year.

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee stated that Malala’s continual “heroic struggle” has won her the prize. As a young woman who continued to stand up for her rights and the rights of other girls just like her, she has shown courage beyond other people her age. Malala finished by stating, “I felt more powerful and more courageous because this award is not just a piece of metal or a medal you wear or an award you keep in your room. This is encouragement for me to go forward.”

For such a young woman to overcome such great obstacles, the rest of the world encourages you to go forward as well.

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