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Pakistan's Malala Wins Sakharov Prize

  • VOA News

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot on a school bus by the Taliban last October for campaigning on the education of girls, sits on the sidelines of a news conference convened by 'A World at School' in New York, Sept. 23, 2013.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot on a school bus by the Taliban last October for campaigning on the education of girls, sits on the sidelines of a news conference convened by 'A World at School' in New York, Sept. 23, 2013.

The European Union has awarded its top human rights prize to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted for a Taliban attack for her efforts to promote education for women.

European Union lawmakers announced the winner of the $65,000 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought Thursday in Brussels.

Malala was 11 when she became an activist for women's education, freedom, and self-determination in Pakistan's Swat Valley, where women were banned by the Taliban from attending school in 2009. She began a blog, writing under a pseudonym, and quickly became a prominent voice for women's rights.

She survived a nearly fatal Taliban assassination attempt while riding a school bus in 2012 and underwent multiple surgeries in Britain to remove a bullet to the neck and alleviate the swelling of her brain.

Since then, she has remained in Britain but resumed her activism, addressing the United Nations in July and publishing a memoir earlier this week, on the first anniversary of her attack.

Past winners of the Sakharov Prize include South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
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