The Nobel Women’s Initiative congratulates activists Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi on being named the 2014 recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala and Kailash have both worked hard – despite the personal risk that plagues so many human rights defenders – to uphold and improve the rights of children and girls. The Nobel Peace Prize is a tribute to their example of perseverance and nonviolent action.
Girls’ empowerment and education plays a key role in ensuring girls and women’s rights are respected and their voices are heard. Education gives girls the tools to use as they work for peace, justice and equality. Like many women human rights defenders worldwide, Malala Yousafzai has been the target of violence, harassment and repression as a result of her work – yet she has not wavered in her commitment to peaceful resistance while she has been a voice and inspiration for girls everywhere.
The tens of thousands of children who have been freed from servitude through the work of Kailash Satyarthi are only part of his work. Kailash has worked through nonviolent means for decades to change policies, attitudes, and cultural expectations around child exploitation, and to push for better conditions and recognition of the inherent rights of children. He has organized protests, demonstrations, and more – all peaceful – as a defender of the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable.
We extend our solidarity and warmest congratulations to Malala and Kailash. May their courage, perseverance and examples of nonviolent resistance once again inspire us all to do what we can in our own communities.
Two Champions of Children Are Given Nobel Peace Prize, New York Time, 10 October 2014.