It was announced yesterday that Malala will receive the European Union's highest human rights award, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The President of the European Parliament stated that "...Parliament acknowledges the incredible strength of this young woman...Malala bravely stands for the right of all children to be granted a fair education. This right for girls is far too commonly neglected."
Rumors also spread that Malala was being considered for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. Though she was not selected as the recipient, Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland expressed that "She is an outstanding woman and I think she has a bright future and she will probably be a nominee next year or the year after that."
Malala shared her thoughts on education, her book and advocacy on October 8th's edition of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:
This video, in particular, drives home the strong connection between Malala and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Both women recognized injustices in their worlds and used their talents - their voices as well as writing - to advocate for justice. As Malala said in the interview "I need to tell the world what is happening," which is part of what drove Stowe to write Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was moving to hear Stewart ask her "What gave you the courage to continue this?" which we find many visitors ask about Stowe. And as we mentioned in July, we were especially struck by her quote, "One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world," which closely aligns with the words of Harriet Beecher Stowe herself:
"The way to be great lies though books, now, and not through battles...there is more done with pens than swords..."
What do you admire about Malala and Stowe? What connections do you see between them? What would Stowe think of Malala's efforts? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
To learn more about Malala's award and her ongoing efforts to advocate for education, and how to take action on education advocacy worldwide, we recommend:
"EU Awards Top Human Rights Award to Malala"
"16-year-old Malala Yousafzai wins Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought"
by Raf Casert
"The Bravest Girl in the World"
by Christiane Amanpour, Sunday October 13 at 7PM on CNN
Malala Day - Global Education First Initiative
The UN Secretary-General's Global Initiative on Education