Malala Yousafzai became the youngest-ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize early Friday morning when the 17-year-old won the award, along with India’s Kailash Satyarthi, a longtime children’s rights activist, ‘for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.’
Malala’s story is well-known, largely due to the speculation that she would win the Nobel Prize last year, when the Nobel Committee instead awarded it to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for its work in eliminating chemical weapons from war-torn Syria.
A prolific writer as a teenager about life in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, she was on her way to school in Swat when a Taliban fundamentalist shot her in the head. She recovered, however, with ample treatment in both Pakistan and the United Kingdom. Following her recovery, as her story became widely known, she used her global platform to advocate for global education for all children, including women.
But beneath the headline, Yousafzai’s story intersects in odd and sometimes very complex ways with the currents of South Asian and Pakistani politics, including widespread anti-American sentiment, tumultuous disputes among Pakistan’s government, opposition and military, and a culture that still undermines women’s rights.
Here are just three instances that show how fraught the intersection of the global fight for women’s rights and access to education, Pakistan’s volatile political scene, and US security interests.
Continue reading Three interesting facts about Pakistan’s inspiring, young Nobel laureate