Malala nominated for Nobel Peace Prize after Pakistani schoolgirl was shot in head on bus by Taliban


Taliban shooting victim Malala, 15, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for 'commitment so threatening to the extremists they tried to kill her'The youngest winner ever is 31 and only 15 women have won the prize
Schoolgirl was shot in head on bus in Pakistan after criticising extremistsNominated for courageously speaking out for girls' rights to educationThe teenager is recovering from the shooting in a UK hospital

By
Emma Reynolds

PUBLISHED:

23:46 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:45 GMT, 3 February 2013

The Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban after publicly criticising them has been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, was put forward by three Norwegian MPs, who praised her 'commitment so threatening to extremists that they tried to kill her'.

Freddy de Ruiter, from the country's ruling Labor party, said her courage in speaking out, particularly on the subject of a girls' right to education, made her a worthy candidate.

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Courage: Malala Yousufzai is in a UK hospital having a final operation after she was shot in the head in October

Courage: Malala Yousufzai is in a UK hospital having a final operation after she was shot in the head in October

Gorm Kjernli said on the party's website yesterday that the teenager had 'made ​​a strong impression on the whole world.'

He added: 'She represents a younger generation that uses social media to reach out with their message about girls' right to equal opportunities.'

Rare: Only 15 women have won the Nobel peace prize, including Mother Teresa (pictured)

Rare: Only 15 women have won the Nobel peace prize, including Mother Teresa (pictured)

The three MPs have submitted their proposal to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Magne Rommetveit said Malala was now 'an important symbol in the struggle against the destructive forces that will prevent democracy, equality and human rights.'

Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman at point blank range
as she travelled home from school by bus on October 9.

Her attacker boarded the vehicle in Pakistan's Swat Valley and asked for her by name before firing three shots at her in front of her horrified friends.

She was singled out after writing a blog criticising the Islamist organisation.

Malala was flown to a hospital in the UK a week later, and is now having a final major operation to place a titanium plate over the hole left in her skull.

She has received thousands of messages from well-wishers around the world, and continued to speak out on behalf of her cause.

The 15-year-old is now an
internationally recognised symbol of opposition to the Taliban's drive
to deny women education, and against religious extremism in a country
where women's rights are often flouted.

Kristian Berg Harpviken, head
of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, said: 'A prize to Malala would not only be timely and fitting with a line of
awards to champions of human rights and democracy, but also… would set
both children and education on the peace and conflict agenda.'

The nominations have not yet been
formally announced, but yesterday was the deadline for submissions. The
winner will be announced by the in early October.

Nominations can be made only by a select group of people worldwide, and the foundation does not disclose the names of nominees until 50 years later, although those who name the candidates sometimes disclose them.

The youngest winner of the peace prize of the 93 who have been handed the award was Tawakkol Karman, who collected it in 2011, aged 31.

The average age of all Nobel Peace Laureates between 1901 and 2011 is 62 years. There have only been 15 female winners, who include Mother Teresa and Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Stockholm-based Nobel Foundation said 231 names were put forward last year for the peace prize, which is awarded in Oslo, Norway.

Others known to have
been nominated this year are human rights activists whose names have been
mentioned in previous years, including Belarussian Ales Belyatski – currently behind bars – and Russia's Lyudmila
Alexeyeva.

VIDEO Malala will undergo more surgery to recover from the shooting

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