Pakistanian Malala Yousafzai, 17, was honored with the award Friday, along with India's Kailash Satyarthi, for their work against the suppression of children and for young people's rights, according to CNN.
Malala, specifically, was recognized because of her efforts to promote education for girls in Pakistan. She has risked her life for the cause, with the Taliban shooting her in the head nearly two years ago because of it. Luckily, she survived, and continued to fight for her beliefs, taking her campaign to a global level.
"I'm proud that I'm the first Pakistani and the first young woman or the first young person getting this award," she said.
Malala added that she felt like this was just the beginning of her campaign to advocate for girls' education, saying that children everywhere should "stand up for their rights" and "not wait for someone else."
Now that they have received their awards, Malala and 60-year-old Kailash plan to work together to fight for every child's right to be able to go to school, and to build a stronger relationship between their native India and Pakistan, which have been rivals for a long time.
According to Mosharraf Zaidi, a Pakistani education campaigner, 25 million children ages 5 to 16 in Pakistan are not in school. More than half of those kids are girls. "So there's a huge need for a campaigner and a voice like Malala's," he told CNN. "Unfortunately, that voice hasn't been welcome in Pakistan in the way that we would've hoped and the work that needs to be done to fulfill the dreams that Malala has, has not yet begun."
Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated Malala as well, saying in a statement, "She is (the) pride of Pakistan, she has made her countrymen proud. Her achievement is unparalleled and unequaled. Girls and boys of the world should take lead from her struggle and commitment."
Malala co-founded an organization called the Malala Fund, which inspires girls to take action in their communities, advocates for girls' education and invests in community-centered solutions that provide quality education.
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