On Friday, October 10, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi were jointly awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
Satyarthi is the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (English: Save Childhood Movement), an India-based movement that campaigns for the end of human trafficking and the protection of children’s rights. Satyarthi has made the protection of children and the pursuit of their safety and education his life mission, fighting against child labor and campaigning for access to education.
Yousafzai came to global recognition as an activist for women’s access to education. She has worked to spread awareness of the plight of girls in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, her home, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending schools. Yousafzai has shown incredible courage in sharing about her life under Taliban occupation and promoting children’s and women’s rights, even after being shot in 2012. 17-year-old Yousfzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
We at Choices share the goals of these activists—to foster education, awareness, empowerment, and empathy amongst a new generation. If you are as inspired as we are by the two incredible Nobel laureates, check out our unit on the history of their homelands, Pakistan and India, in Indian Independence and the Question of Partition, or teach your class about the central pillar of their work with Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for U.S. Policy. For more on the empowerment of youth to change the world, we have a free lesson on Students in the Civil Rights Movement.