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.