Despite being shot in the head by the Taliban on Oct. 9, 2012, for standing up for girls’ education, Malala Yousafzai did not win the Nobel Peace Prize—but she should have. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons won in light of what has recently happened in Syria.
Malala is an inspiration to girls who value education. When the India Times asked her why the Taliban is against girls education, she said, “They are afraid of us. They are afraid of women. A woman is powerful but when she gets education she becomes more powerful. They do not want women to take part in society, in the development of a society. They think that the only job of women is to cook food, to serve the family, to give birth to children, to feed them.”
My question to the Nobel Committee is this: What more can a person do for his or her cause? Malala nearly died for her beliefs and is an ordinary girl making an extraordinary impact on the world.
One group is thrilled with the Nobel Committee—and this will come as a complete shock—the Taliban. According to spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, the Taliban has praised the Committee for “not selecting this immature girl for this famous award.” He also said that “If we [the Taliban] get another chance, we will definitely kill her and that will make us feel proud.”
People have critiqued the Nobel Committee because it encourages future humanitarian work, rather than acknowledging what has already been accomplished. One example of this is when the Nobel Committee awarded Barack Obama the award in 2009 after less than a year in office.
Malala has been poised about the Nobel Committee’s decision. In an interview with PBS, she said, “They nominated me… and that is the great prize for me. If I get an award, if I get a paper, it does not matter, because when I look at the prayers of people and their support and how much they love me, I think that is the biggest prize that I have ever received.”
Malala is an inspiration to women around the world, and should have been recognized for her efforts to help girls obtain better education globally.
Featured Image: Malala’s book on display in the Archer library. Photographer: Rosemary Pastron ’16