Malala missed out on peace prize in 2013 for being too young, Nobel Institute admits


The Norwegian Nobel Institute has admitted for the first time ever that the global figurehead for a girl’s right to an education — Malala Yousafzai missed out on the Nobel peace prize in 2013 for being too young.

She however won the world’s most coveted prize on Friday. This still makes her the youngest Nobel laureate ever at the age of 17.

So far, 47 Nobel prizes have gone to women between 1901 and 2014. Malala became the 16th woman being awarded the Nobel peace prize which also includes Mother Teresa from India.

Director of the Nobel Institute in Oslo Geir Lundestad told TOI in an exclusive interview “It is a tremendous responsibility to win the Nobel prize. And when you give it to someone too young or too unknown, it changes their life forever. We throw them out to the world stage overnight. We felt the same about Malala last year and thought it was too early for her to receive the prize.”

The Nobel committee was also wary whether Malala would be able to handle the pressure that comes from global fame and expectation after winning the Nobel prize.

“However, Malala has performed very well over the past year as a global ambassador for education and we felt it was time to give her the prize,” Lundestad told TOI.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee had awarded the prize in 2013 to the International Chemical Weapons watchdog that is destroying poison gas stockpiles in Syria, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.