European Socialists and Democrats candidate Malala Yousafzai is awarded Sakharov Prize 2013

Malala Yousafzai is awarded Sakharov Prize 2013

The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, as well as other political groups proposed Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan as a candidate for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize. After having been shot by the Taliban, the 16-year-old schoolgirl and activist gained international acclaim for her bravery. Malala seeks to empower girls and women through education.

Hannes Swoboda, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:

"Malala was a clear choice for our group, as a young girl who risks her life for the values and principles she – and we – believe in: equality of women and men, and the right to education for everyone.

"It is absurd that today women and girls still need to fight for equality and education. In this fight, individuals like Malala are incredibly important. The Sakharov Prize symbolises our appreciation of her efforts and should be a reminder to all of us that equality and the right to education cannot be taken for granted.

"I am glad about the broad show of support for Malala within the European Parliament. This underlines the clear commitment to women's rights in the European Parliament."

Note to editors:

The European Parliament has awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought each year since 1988, to honour individuals or organisations who dedicate themselves to human rights and freedom of thought. The prize will be formally awarded during the European Parliament plenary session in November 2013.