RAW in WAR (Reach All Women In War) celebrates the courageous and inspiring work of Malala Yousafzai, the brave young woman from Pakistan who has spoken out about the right of every girl and every boy around the world to receive an education. Defying the strict ban imposed by the Taliban on girls attending school, she refused to be silenced in the face of grave danger, just like Anna Politkovskaya did.
Malala Yousafai was only 15 years old when she was shot by the Talican on 9 October 2012 for campaigning for education for girls.
Ahead of the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder on Monday 7th October, RAW in War honours Malala with the 2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award for her courage to speak out when nobody else dared, for her strength to give a voice to the many women and girls whose voices cannot be heard, and for her passionate belief in promoting education for girls.
On accepting the award Malala Yousafzai said:
“Anna Politkovskaya was a dedicated journalist and human rights activist. She campaigned passionately about issues which concerned her. She spoke out about causes which other people dared not speak about. She was brave and an inspiration. I am extremely proud to have been chosen to receive an award which bares Anna’s name and hope that I may be as brave as she was. I greatly admire Anna’s dedication to truth, to equality and to humanity.”
On Malala receiving the 2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award, Lord Frank Judd, a member of the 2013 Award Nominations Committee, said:
“I am convinced that Anna would have been delighted. The courage and effectiveness of Anna and Malala are a huge challenge to us all.”
Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist in her forties, when she wrote against human rights abuses; Malala is only 16 and still continuing her education. However, like Anna, Malala believes that a pen is a powerful weapon and that education can stop people from falling for ideologies of hatred and violence. Like Anna Politkovskaya, Malala did not call for violence or revenge against those who attacked her. Compassion, tolerance and remaining peaceful were principles that Anna held highly in her life.
Malala Yousafzai accepted the award in person at the 2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award ceremony at the Southbank Centre, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall.
The award was presented by the “British Schindler”, 104-year-old Sir Nicolas Winton who, in 1939, organised the rescue of 669 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, saving their lives on the eve of the Second World War.
Malala and Sir Nicholas are also the youngest and the oldest persons ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.
On presenting the award to Malala, Sir Nicholas Winton said:
“It’s a great pleasure to give this award to someone like Malala, who is so young and yet who is striving to make the world a better, more ethical place.”