Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India have stressed the importance of uniting people across borders and religions by educating children and freeing them from poverty.
The 17-year-old Malala, who was shot in the head two years ago for insisting that girls have as much right to education as boys, says it is “not only the right but the duty of children” to be educated.
Sitting side-by-side with Malala, the 60-year-old Satyarthi said that even if a single child is denied education “we cannot say we are enlightened.”
The Nobel Peace Prize winners were speaking to reporters in the Norwegian capital a day before being presented their awards on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.
Malala, the youngest Nobel Prize winner, said said she had been concentrating on her difficult school exams in recent weeks – she is pleased to have gotten As and Bs -and has only focused on writing her Nobel speech in the last week.
To spotlight her crusade, Malala invited four girls and a young woman who have fought for education rights in Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan to join her delegation.
“I’m really happy my friends are coming,” she said. “I feel I am speaking on their behalf. It is important they are able to join me. This is a very big platform.”