Skip to main content

16-year-old Malala Yousafzai wins Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

From Carol Jordan, CNN
updated 6:48 AM EDT, Thu October 10, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Malala Yousafzai wins this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
  • The prize, awarded by the European Parliament, is worth about $67,000
  • Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban but continues promoting girls' education

Editor's note: See a side to Malala you haven't seen before in Christiane Amanpour's special interview, The Bravest Girl in the World, on CNN Sunday, October 13, 7pm ET. The program, recorded in New York before a studio audience, will include exclusive material.

London (CNN) -- Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai has won the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Parliament President Martin Schulz called the 16-year-old a "brave advocate for education" who "reminds us of our duty toward children and especially girls."

Malala Yousafzai: Accolades, applause and a grim milestone

The prize is worth about $67,000.

Malala's activism started after the Taliban banned girls from schools in Pakistan's Swat Valley in 2009. She anonymously blogged for the BBC in opposition to that order, and became an open advocate for girls' education.

Malala interviewed on 'Daily Show'
Girls defy the Taliban in Pakistan

In 2011, Malala told CNN, "I have the right of education. I have the right to play. I have the right to sing. I have the right to talk."

A year later, she was riding the bus home from school when a Taliban gunman climbed aboard and shot her in the head. She nearly died.

Since then, Malala has recovered and continued advocating for girls' education, despite ongoing death threats from the Taliban.

Malala appears on "The Daily Show"

She's also a favorite to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize, which will be awarded Friday. If Malala wins, she would become the youngest-ever Nobel laureate.

CNN's Holly Yan and Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT