Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Kailash Satyarthi, on December 10, 2014. She's the first Pakistani to win a Nobel Peace Prize. The 17-year-old joked during the ceremony, "I am pretty certain that I am also the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers," she said. "I want there to be peace everywhere, but my brothers and I are still working on that."
Jokes aside, here are some really inspiring excerpts from the speech she gave in Oslo during the prize-giving ceremony.
This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change.
I am here to stand up for their rights, raise their voice… it is not time to pity them. It is time to take action so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education.
I had two options, one was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the second was to speak up and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up.
The terrorists tried to stop us and attacked me and my friends on 9th October 2012, but their bullets could not win.
We survived. And since that day, our voices have only grown louder.
I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls.
Though I appear as one girl, one person, who is 5 foot 2 inches tall, if you include my high heels. I am not a lone voice, I am many... I am those 66 million girls who are out of school.
One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.
In my own village, there is still no secondary school for girls. I want to build one, so my friends can get an education—and the opportunity it brings to fulfil their dreams... That is where I will begin, but it is not where I will stop. I will continue this fight until I see every child in school. I feel much stronger after the attack that I endured, because I know, no one can stop me, or stop us, because now we are millions, standing up together.
It is not time to tell the leaders to realise how important education is - they already know it - their own children are in good schools. Now it is time to call them to take action.
Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.
Dear brothers and sisters, the so-called world of adults may understand it, but we children don’t. Why is it that countries which we call “strong” are so powerful in creating wars but so weak in bringing peace? Why is it that giving guns is so easy but giving books is so hard? Why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so difficult?
As we are living in the modern age, the 21st century and we all believe that nothing is impossible. We can reach the moon and maybe soon will land on Mars. Then, in this, the 21st century, we must be determined that our dream of quality education for all will also come true.
So let us bring equality, justice and peace for all. Not just the politicians and the world leaders, we all need to contribute. Me. You. It is our duty.
Dear sisters and brothers, let us become the first generation to decide to be the last. The empty classrooms, the lost childhoods, wasted potential—let these things end with us.
Let this be the last time that a girl is told education is a crime and not a right.