For once, we can say, “Well done, Nobel Prize Committee:” Malala Yousafzai has won a Nobel Peace Prize.
She shares it with Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist in India about whom I know very little (he sounds like an excellent choice).
But Malala Yousafzai is well-known to all who believe that women in Muslim countries deserve liberty and an education. The Washington Post reports:
Yousafzai, a schoolgirl in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, became a worldwide symbol against abuses by the Taliban after she was shot in the head in 2012 by militants who stormed the bus she was riding with other students.
Yousafzai, now 17, later become an advocate for girls’ education and has appeared in some of the most high-profile forums, including an address at the United Nations last year.
“They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed,” she said at the United Nations. “And then, out of that silence, came thousands of voices.”
Her appeals, however, have angered Taliban militants and others in her native country who have opposed education for girls. She has been forced her to live in exile since her recovery.
Ed Morrisey notices something else very good about the dual choice:
The pairing of a Muslim and a Hindu was no coincidence, either, but a message to extremists in both camps. The committee made that explicit in their announcement.
Western feminists are loath to criticize Middle Eastern society, where women are really deprived of opportunities (and often their lives, too), preferring instead to focus on phony grievances in Western societies. So the Nobel committee's choice of Malala Yousafzai is to be applauded.