European lawmakers have awarded their top human rights prize to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai -- who survived a Taliban assassination attempt last year -- the Wall Street Journal website reports today (October 14, 2013).
The prize -- which includes a $65,000 monetary award -- is considered the top rights award of the European Union (EU). Previous winners include Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela.
Ms. Yousafzai, 16, was shot in the head last October by a Taliban gunman as she walked home from school. She had been campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan's Swat valley, where the Taliban's interpretation of Islam keeps women at home and bars girls from attending school. Militant Muslims still threaten to kill her if she returns to Pakistan.
After the shooting she was flown to the United Kingdom for treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. She gradually regained her sight and her voice and was reunited with her parents. Since leaving the hospital in March, she has co-written a book, delivered a speech at the United Nations Youth Assembly, and become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee in history.