This morning’s announcement read:
“Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzay has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.”
At 11 years old, Yousafzai was already an activist. She wrote a blog for the BBC under a pseudonym, describing her life under Taliban rule in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The Taliban often prohibited girls from going to school and Yousafzai courageously voiced her support for education across gender lines.
In 2012, a gunman walked onto her school bus and asked for her by name. Once he identified her, he fired three shots at her with a .45 caliber pistol. She survived. She was 15 at the time.