News / Europe

Pakistan's Malala Wins Sakharov Prize

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.
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VOA News
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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