“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it.”
Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian children’s right activist Kailash Satyarthi, won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
Malala, a former Sakharov Prize winner, came under the spotlight after she was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for defending better rights for girls, in Pakistan. At 17, she has become the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner.
The EU, who won the award in 2012, congratulated the winners and urged world leaders to increase their fight for children’s access to education.
“We are delighted for Malala, who so courageously stood up for her rights and paid a high price for something that many in our countries take for granted. But we cannot forget the millions of other children around the world who are denied their right to education. This is a victory for all of them. Young boys and girls who aspire to learning,” said European Commission spokesperson Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen.
In recognition of her fight for equal access to education, Malala was also awarded the Sakharov prize in 2013, joining former winners such as Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.
‘Let us change the ideology of being powerful, the powerful countries shall not be judged by counting their soldiers and navy, but rather we must see which country has the higher literacy rate, which country has more educated people, which country has provided their basic rights to citizens.’ the Nobel prize winner said in a ceremony in Strasbourg.
Despite going through one of the worst crises in decades and repeated scenes of social unrest across the continent, the European Union won the Nobel peace prize in 2012.
The Norwegian prize committee awarded the 27-nation bloc for its 60 years of contributions to peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
The Nobel peace prize is worth 1 million euros and will be handed out on December 10th in Norway.