Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai wins Tipperary peace award

Tuesday 01 January 2013 22.13
Malala Yousafzai is being recognised for her courage, determination and perseverance
Malala Yousafzai is being recognised for her courage, determination and perseverance

Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai has won the 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award.

In a statement, the Tipperary Peace Convention said it is recognising Malala's courage, determination and perseverance, along with the impact she has had on so many across the world.

The schoolgirl has become a symbol of resistance against the Taliban's efforts to deprive girls of an education in her country.

Last October, the 14-year-old survived after being shot in the head by the Taliban for her human rights work.

Malala campaigned for girls' rights and came to public attention in 2009 by writing an online diary.

In the diary, she wrote about life under Taliban militants, who had taken control of the Swat Valley and banned the education of girls.

She received death threats over the diary, but said in 2012 it was worth the risk.

The Pakistan Taliban said they attacked Malala because she was a western-minded girl and secular.

The Tipperary Peace Convention said: "Malala's courage has proved to be an inspiration around the globe.

"The right to education is denied to 61 million children of primary school age around the world and the hopes of these children are represented by the courage, determination and by the voice of Malala Yousafzai.

"The Taliban tried and failed to silence her and have instead amplified her voice."

Previous recipients of the award include former South African president Nelson Mandela, former US president Bill Clinton, former prime minister of Pakistan the late Benazir Bhutto, and former President of Ireland Prof Mary McAleese and her husband Senator Martin McAleese.

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