(CNN) — The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai and India’s Kailash Satyarthi for their struggle against the suppression of young people’s and children’s right to education.
Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said, “Children must go to school, not be financially exploited.”
Yousafzai came to global attention after she was shot in the head by the Taliban for her efforts to promote education for girls.
Through the teenager’s heroic struggle, she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education, Jagland said.
According to the Nobel committee, at 17, she’s the youngest ever peace prize winner.
Meanwhile, Satyarthi, age 60, has shown great personal courage in heading peaceful demonstrations focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain, he said.
“The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,” a statement said.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee received a record 278 nominations for the 2014 prize, 47 of which were for organizations.
Last year’s winner was the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for its longstanding efforts to “do away with a whole category of weapons of mass destruction.”
Each prize carries with it a monetary reward of 8 million Swedish kronor (about $1.1 million) to be divided among the winners.