After becoming the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the 17-year-old Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai has now received the US Liberty Medal for her “courage and resilience in the face of adversity”.
The Liberty Medal, presented by the US National Constitution Centre, is awarded every year to men and women who display courage and strive for the liberty of people around the world. Last year’s recipient of the medal was the former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Liberty Medal also comes with a $100,000 award, which Malala intends to use for the promotion of education in Pakistan.
“I speak for those without a voice, I speak for girls who have been persecuted,” said Malala.
“Why should I not speak? It is our duty to our country. I needed to speak for our right to go to school,” she further added.
Earlier this month, Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with an Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.
The Canadian government had also planned to invite Malala for a session with Toronto high school students and the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, was to confer an honorary Canadian citizenship on the young Pakistani activist.
However, security concerns in Ottawa led to cancellation of the event, as the Prime Minister was moved to an undisclosed location and the parliament was locked-down.