independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Call for brave Malala to get Nobel prize

SHOT in the head by the Taliban only weeks ago, Malala Yousafzai (15) was almost given up for dead. But the schoolgirl is now sitting up in bed and studying.

More than 60,000 people have backed a petition calling for her to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. They believe that her fight for girls' education in Pakistan should be recognised by the world.

Their call comes ahead of tomorrow's global day of action, marking one month since Malala was shot.

Shahida Choudhary is campaigning for British Prime Minister David Cameron and other prominent politicians to write to the Nobel committee, recommending Malala.

She herself was taken out of school in Britain, aged 16, and forced into a marriage in Pakistan. However, she escaped back to the UK, returned to education aged 28 and now runs a network in Birmingham to support women in similar situations.

Ms Choudhary said: "Malala doesn't just represent one young woman, she speaks out for all those who are denied an education purely on the basis of their gender. There are girls like Malala in the UK and across the world. I was one of them."

Malala, who is widely known as a campaigner for girls' education in Pakistan, was attacked -- along with two other schoolgirls -- while travelling home from school.

The gunman who boarded the van in which she was travelling asked for her by name, before firing three shots at her.

In early 2009, she wrote an anonymous blog about life under the Taliban, who had banned all girls in her area from attending school.

The global petition to have Malala nominated, on Change.org, was started in Canada by Tarek Fatah, a writer and broadcaster.

Nominations close in February.

Irish Independent

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