UK campaigners call for Nobel Prize for shot Pakistani girl

Thu Nov 8, 2012 8:12pm EST
 
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By Maria Golovnina

LONDON (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Britons called on the government on Friday to nominate Malala Yousufzai, a Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 15-year-old is receiving specialist treatment in the English city of Birmingham after gunmen shot her on October 9 for standing up against the Taliban and openly advocating education for women.

The attack has drawn widespread international condemnation and Yousufzai has become a powerful symbol of resistance to the Taliban's attempts to suppress women's rights.

On Friday, a campaign led by a Pakistani-British woman urged Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior government officials to nominate Yousufzai for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Malala doesn't just represent one young woman, she speaks out for all those who are denied an education purely on the basis of their gender," campaign leader Shahida Choudhary said in a statement issued by global petition platform Change.org.

More than 30,000 people have signed the petition in Britain as part of a global push by women's rights advocates to nominate her for the prize. Similar campaigns have sprung up in Canada, France and Spain.

Under the Nobel Committee's rules, only prominent figures such as members of national assemblies and governments are able to make nominations.

Yousufzai was unconscious and fighting for her life when she was flown to Britain a month ago but the hospital in Birmingham where she is being treated says she is recovering well.   Continued...

 
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai reads a book as she recuperates at the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in this undated handout photograph released on November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/Handout