Statement by the International Sakharov Committee:
The International Sakharov Committee wholeheartedly endorses and agrees with the decision of the European Parliament to award Malala Yousafzai the 2013 Sakharov Prize. Malala is a worthy recipient due to her bravery defending the right to education, much more fitting than for instance controversial Edward Snowden. In spite of threats, intimidation and an assassination attempt from Islamists, she keeps up her dissident activities. Awarding her the Sakharov Prize is appropriate and right.
It is understandable that the Taleban desires to halt the education of women, for educated women are free women, able to independently contribute to society and live without control of their families or their husbands. Equal rights for women, regardless of backwards tradition or religious dogma, as well as the right of women to decide how many children to have, are preconditions for societies to develop peacefully towards prosperity and happiness. A situation where modern education prevails over reactionary religion would render Taleban and other Islamist movements irrelevant and powerless, setting people free to think and speak as they see fit. Continue reading