Malala Yousafzai is seen currently as one of the greatest campaigners for human rights ever in history, being on par with Martin Luther King Jr. and the women’s suffrage movement in 1920.

Don’t take this the wrong way; what Malala is doing is beneficial for women in Pakistan and the furthering of education for women and young girls.

However I don’t agree with the flagrant handing out of the Nobel Prize to Ms. Yousafzai, before you decide to stop reading, let me explain. Everything she did was great and all, but one must think of what she has actually achieved… Has Pakistan changed its laws for the education of women? From research it is apparent that nothing has changed, she did although convince the UN to create a bill so children have the right to an education.

Now lets focus on the awareness aspect of what Ms. Yousafzai has done for the world, we hear everyday on the news of ‘raising awareness for___________ ‘ but what does awareness actually mean? It means that the issue will occur more often in point of conversation. But referencing to the old proverb, actions speak louder than words, what has Malala done to change the legal system in her country? I mean that’s what she was striving for in the first place wasn’t it? The fact that she has caused change everywhere else in the globe except the place where she wants change doesn’t suggest failure, but an incompletion of what Malala has strived for. Therefore I feel the Nobel Prize was given to her due to what she has gone through to get to that stage rather then what she had actually accomplished.

The best thing that ever happened to Malala was her shooting. This statement may be very controversial but let me explain the significance of it. Prior to her shooting we heard stories on the news of a brave Pakistani girl fighting for the rights of children everywhere. But it was only after the attempted assassination of Malala that mainstream media started to erupt in praise for her strength and bravery in fighting against oppression. I have a problem with calling Malala strong, she is extremely strong in making influential speeches and influencing the lives of others but saying that she was strong for surviving the assassination attempt is being exaggerative. She only survived because she was lucky. She only survived because the bullet missed vital parts of her brain, that’s not strength, that’s luck.

If Malala didn’t get shot I do not believe she would of won the Nobel Peace Prize, I do not believe she would have world recognition for her actions, it’s sad that the world wouldn’t have noticed her if not for her failed assassination attempt. Quite like that of American Idol or other singing shows, to gain the sway of the judges contestants will say their story of how they had cancer or had a speech impediment and can sing fluently without fault. It’s these difficulties to the human condition that really sway people’s opinions. Malala did not ask for her assassination attempt, however she would be stupid if she didn’t see it coming, in a country so riddled with extremists it was bound to have happened  (Benazir Bhutto). Malala did not ask for the assassination attempt but it did aid her (like an American Idol contestant) in swaying the voters to eventually award her with the Nobel Prize. In my honest opinion I do not believe she has completed her goal and should not be awarded with such a prestigious honour. I do also believe that it is an injustice to her competition for achieving just as much as her but not undergoing the same hardships she has.

Now let’s take a gander at the other candidates that where nominees for the Nobel Prize, we have our old friend President Vladimir Putin, such a lovely fellow invading Crimea and murdering innocent civilians. Definitely a candidate for peace, oh and let’s not forget the persecution of homosexuals in Russia, as you can see peace is Vladimir Putin’s prime agenda. We then have Edward Snowden who we should praise for highlighting the NSA’s vast network and phone tapping capabilities, basically a glorified snitch, however let’s not forget that America is still on a worldwide manhunt for him. Is his Nobel Prize nomination a clever ploy to reveal his whereabouts? Who knows, maybe Edward Snowden may unveil the corruption of the ceremony in the near future. Denis Mukwege, more than the other candidates is the most deserving of the award due to his ACTIONS and not his WORDS. Unlike Ms. Yousafzai, Mr. Snowden and Mr. Putin, Denis Mukwege has helped thousands of women and men in the Republic of Congo to recover from previous episodes of abuse and gang rape. I don’t know what to say other than ‘Christ what is the world thinking?’ You see, we as humans want to see achievement through adversity, so in the case of Mr. Mukwege, nothing was holding him back, nothing prevented him from doing the work he did, however Ms. Yousafzai received death threats and was resisted upon doing the work that she did. This worked in Malala’s favour in swaying the vote in her favour. Not mentioning that injustice against women occurs in the Republic of Congo, which Mr. Mukwege also combats.

As the title suggests, this is a popularity contest, not on who’s changed the world most, but for the person who has the most media coverage.

Now I ask you reader, where any of the other candidates as publicized as Malala? And did you know any of the nominees listed above where even nominated apart from Malala?

Erik Testagrossa

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