Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has been a global inspiration ever since she was attacked by the Taliban in 2012 after speaking out against their attempts to deny women education, and now the 17-year-old has become the youngest person to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Yousafzai will share the 95th annual award with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. The Nobel Committee announced the award today and said they selected the two “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
The teen was reportedly in chemistry class when she found out she won the award (of course!), and told reporters:
“We should all consider each other as human beings, and we should respect each other. It is my message to children all around the world that they should stand up for their rights.”
Malala has been publicly speaking out for children and women as early as 11-years-old when she started a blog for the BBC’s Urdu service campaign detailing her life under the Taliban’s regime and their efforts to deny women education. In 2012 she was on her school bus in Pakistan when she was shot by masked gunmen as punishment for her views in the blog. But the assassination attempt didn’t quiet her voice. After her recovery, she set up the Malala Fund to support local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya. Last year she addressed the U.N. Youth Assembly that was later dubbed “Malala Day.” Earlier this year she traveled to Nigeria to call for the release of the 200+ kidnapped Nigerian girls at the hands of Boko Haram.
This extraodinary young woman will receive her award — worth an estimated $1.1 million — in Oslo on December 10.