Originally posted by editorial staff on October 14, 2014, on Winnipeg Free Press—
“The Nobel Foundation’s awards committee has a dubious record in selecting its laureates for the peace prize, but it redeemed itself with two inspiring choices last week.
Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India cannot be said to have done “the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses,” which is the committee’s stated criteria for selecting winners in the peace category.
Malala, 17, and Mr. Satyarthi, 60, both represent, however, the world we want, the future we hope for. Their courage and heroism in pursuit of children’s rights are a call to duty for anyone who cares about the plight of humanity.
Of the two laureates, Mr. Satyarthi is less well-known in the west, but his career is just as remarkable. He gave up a comfortable life and career as an electrical engineer in 1980 to lead a global movement against child slavery by sweatshops that exploited their labour for profit. He survived attacks on his life and liberated and rehabilitated thousands of children whose plight the world was (and still is) content to ignore. Think of him when you buy your $5 T-shirt.
Malala survived a bullet to the head to lead a worldwide crusade for the rights of girls to be educated, raising consciousness about the need for universal education, a benefit taken for granted in the west. Her life is still in danger, but she accepts the risk with the wisdom of a prophet. Think of her when you complain about the education system.
Both laureates follow the non-violent traditions of Gandhi, who scandalously was never awarded the peace prize, in pursuing their dreams of a better world for children.”
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