Last October, Malala Yousafzai was on her way to school in the Swat Valley of Pakistan when she was shot in the head and the neck by a gunman associated with the Taliban because of her support for
Last October, Malala Yousafzai was on her way to school in the Swat Valley of Pakistan when she was shot in the head and the neck by a gunman associated with the Taliban because of her support for education for girls. She had been advocating it for a while, including writing blog posts about life in the region and on what was important to her for the BBC.
The news and images of the shooting were seen around the world, as many were shocked as to why a 16 year old girl would be targeted.
Yousafzai left Pakistan for the UK to receive surgery. Everyone was rooting for her and for her recovery, which had been remarkable after such an attack. Now, one year later, Yousafzai was being recognised for her achievements, most notably being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in the Norwegian capital Oslo this past week.
Favoured to win the Nobel Peace Prize
Yousafzai did not get the prize—it was awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the organisation tasked to reduce the amount of chemical weapons.
In a statement, the committee wanted to underline the importance of getting rid of the weapons. “The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law,” the statement read. “Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons.”
The committee also criticised Russia and the United States for not destroying their weapons after the deadline of April 2012. Yousafzai, who now lives in the UK, had been favoured to win the prize.
She has already won
Yet, Yousafzai has already won it, even though it went to the OPCW. Yousafzai stood up for what she believed in, despite continual threats from the Taliban, and is not giving up. Yousafzai has become an ambassador for peace through the means of expanding education.
Yousafzai has emphasised that violence is not the answer, and in an interview this week with the American broadcaster Jon Stewart, Yousafzai said violence would not help even if the Taliban struck back. “If you hit a Talib, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib,” Yousafzai said. “You must not treat others with cruelty. You must fight others through peace and through dialogue and through education.”
Focus on peace and education
Indeed, Yousafzai would tell the gunman about the importance of education. “I would tell him how important education is and that I would even want education for your children as well,” Yousafzai said. “That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.”
Because of her focus of peace and that being the core of her message whilst embracing the importance of education and her empowering of young women today, Yousafzai is a champion for peace. Yousafzai knows what is right and what is wrong, and she is willing to stop at nothing to see that.
Nothing can, and will, stop her
She may not have a medal or a cash prize to go along with it, or even documentation of it, but she has already won the Nobel Peace Prize. She will continue championing these causes and looking for what is better for the world. She does not need the medal, for she has already won it.
Nothing can stop her now, and nothing will.