Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was on Wednesday awarded the prestigious EU Sakharov prize for her fight for childrens' rights to education. Last year she survived a Taliban murder attempt after speaking out against them.
To thunderous applause announcing the European Parliament prize, the assembly's president Martin Schulz praised the 16-year-old activist as "a survivor, a heroine and an extraordinary young woman" and said: "You have given hope to millions of people."
Malala, dressed in orange and with her father at her right, became the 25th winner of the Sakharov prize at the ceremony significantly held on World Children's Day, with 21 of the former winners present.
Accepting the award "in the name of God", she spoke out for the 57 million children in the world deprived of education, insisting too on the lack of schooling for girls, often due to forced marriages, trafficking, poverty and sexual violence.
"Children don't want an Iphone, an Xbox or chocolates," she concluded as lawmakers rose to their feet, "They just want a book and a pen."
Date created : 2013-11-20