Petition calls for Pakistani girl to get Nobel Peace Prize

Friday 09 November 2012 23.44
A vigil held in Birmingham for Malala Yousafzai
A vigil held in Birmingham for Malala Yousafzai

Tens of thousands of people have called on the British government to nominate Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 15-year-old is receiving specialist treatment in Birmingham after gunmen shot her on 9 October for standing up against the Taliban and openly advocating education for women.

The attack has drawn widespread international condemnation and the teenager has become a powerful symbol of resistance to the Taliban's attempts to suppress women's rights.

A campaign led by a Pakistani-British woman urged Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior government officials to nominate Ms Yousafzai for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Malala doesn't just represent one young woman, she speaks out for all those who are denied an education purely on the basis of their gender," said Shahida Choudhary.

More than 30,000 people have signed the petition in Britain as part of a global push by women's rights advocates to nominate her for the prize.

Similar campaigns have sprung up in Canada, France and Spain.

Under the Nobel Committee's rules, only prominent figures such as members of national assemblies and governments are able to make nominations.

Ms Yousafzai was unconscious and fighting for her life when she was flown to Britain a month ago but the hospital in Birmingham where she is being treated says she is recovering well.

It released photographs of the teenager reading a book and clutching a white teddy bear.

Her father and other family members have flown to Birmingham, which has a large Pakistani diaspora, to oversee her recovery.

The call to nominate the girl comes on the eve of this Saturday's "Global Day of Action" for Ms Yousafzai, marking one month since her shooting.

Keywords: malala yousufzai