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Nobel Peace Prize winner, 17, adds Liberty Medal

Malala Yousafzai holds up her Liberty Medal during a ceremony at the National Constitution Center on Tuesday in Philadelphia. (Associated Press)
Malala Yousafzai holds up her Liberty Medal during a ceremony at the National Constitution Center on Tuesday in Philadelphia. (Associated Press)

PHILADELPHIA – A Pakistani teenager awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote girls’ education has been honored with the Liberty Medal.

Malala Yousafzai accepted the medal, which is given annually at the National Constitution Center to someone who strives to secure freedom for people around the world, on Tuesday. She implored world leaders to spend money on education, not wars, and to solve differences by talking.

“Education is the best weapon against poverty, ignorance and terrorism,” said Yousafzai, who at 17 is the world’s youngest Nobel laureate.

Yousafzai began her activism six years ago by using an alias to write for the BBC about living under Taliban rule. In 2012, a Taliban gunman shot her in the head as she was returning from school because of her vocal support for gender equality and education for girls.

She ended up being treated for her injury in Britain, where she continues to live. She has continued her activism on those issues through speaking engagements, a best-selling book and a nonprofit organization called the Malala Fund.

The Liberty Medal comes with a $100,000 award, which Yousafzai said she’ll spend in Pakistan on children who need education and other support.

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