Should Mulala Yousafsai become a Nobel Laureate and receive the Nobel Peace Prize?
As I grew up I was aware of the Nobel Prizes in my teens. It’s not something that I followed religiously but as I have always been inquisitive whenever they were announced for the most part it caught my attention. Now also realize that in my days we did not have the internet as we do today with all of its instantaneous revelations, truths, and untruth’s. In my mind back then it was always awarded or seemed to be given to individuals who for the most part were much older and seemed to have dedicated lives to changing things, or had made some very significant contributions to the world. This article is certainly not to recite the Nobel history which the web can certainly meet anyone’s need to research in depth if so desired. But here is a short summation for my comments today. When the awards were first given in 1901 there were 5 categories, Chemistry, Physics, Physiology, Literature and Peace. A sixth category was added in 1969 for Economics.
One thing that I did not realize before today is that each award is evaluated by different groups, and from what I can find many seem to have been froth with much controversy over the years, both as selection committees and recipients. However before I did even the little bit of digging that I have done today, my views on the Nobel prizes was seriously hampered when in 2007 it was awarded to Al Gore which in my mind at the time was so awarded for a film that he presented. Certainly Al Gore was familiar to me as a politician and I must grant now that it “appears” that Mr. Gore has had some additional affiliation with the environmental movement prior to being a Nobel Laureate. Never the less he certainly was NOT associated with the environmental movement to me, prior to this event. The icing on the cake for my distrust of the awarding committee equally came when the Al Gore controversy was still fresh in people’s mind, certainly in mine; the committee awarded it in 2009 to Barrack Obama only 7 months after the first black ever taking the highest office in the USA. Now as I heard this on the news media, and with personal discussions and reading web comments, I certainly thought as many others, I’m sure; what is going on here?
Are the prizes THAT politically driven? Can they be bought?
Now with the events in Pakistan with Mulala, the world is faced with yet again, ongoing political strife, social and moral issues, and let’s not forget, the religious fanaticism of the Taliban. Again prior to doing a bit and I say again just a bit of research reading to get additional facts for this article the Taliban although to the average person they are viewed as a religious order, but they are not in themselves a religious creation as one would think of Catholics, Baptist or Protestant or any other religious church going group. They have religious overtones is without question but the TALIBAN itself was created as a “Politcal” group in Afghanistan in 1996, and was the ruling party till 2001. It has only been recognized as a political group by three world states, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. Pakistan one of the very states which now abhors this grievous and heinous act imposed on Mulala and vows will right the situation. Fact yet to be seen.
To say that the Taliban, having claimed responsibility are cowardly and misguided, in my mind is without question. To say that it is deplorable that women of that society are considered mere chattel to the men of that society to me is also a given.
The west for its part are screaming injustices, but let’s face it we are not so high and mighty ourselves when it comes to the recognition of women. I certainly do not say that the west physically treats their women in the same manner, BUT as a reminder of the women’s significance, their right to vote is less than 2 generations. In the USA the right of women to “vote” was only granted in 1919, in Canada in 1910, In Mexico in 1953, in Switzerland which certainly everyone would regard as a developed nation in 1971. To say that things are changing I believe and hope since the right to vote has now been granted to women in Bahrain in 2002. In Saudi Arabia, and I remember news cast of this, the women’s right to vote and hold office was slated for 2005, then pushed back to 2009, then again to 2011 and now it is scheduled for 2015. How easily we forget events, for I was sure that in Saudi Arabia after the newscast I recall seeing and hearing believed that it was a done deal. Now I see that it has not yet occurred in Saudi Arabia, but one can be hopeful that it will someday be a fact. At “least” it is worldly openly stated and on the table. It can be pushed back only so long before the movement finally drives the point home and cause change.
So that women are not regarded as equal is sadly a global fact and events occur daily which prove this. A case in point, the recent sexual misconduct to the highest level in the USA now dominating the airwaves. That men and women should balance each other to me only makes sense. As discussed in Chinese philosophy we are the Yin and the Yang of society and unless we work in harmony the world will continue to be strife driven.
Now should Mulala receive the Nobel Peace prize? Well in my mind it is a function of, how do you view the prize? Is it a lifetime of struggle or just recognition of circumstantial events? Well certainly in Mulala’s case her life has not been that long so perhaps one may say that yes it has been a lifelong drive. Was she a late comer to the protest in Pakistan and only talked into marching at the last minute? I have no idea but certainly accept that this could be true. Was she a victim of circumstance I have no doubt in that.
Would the Nobel Peace prize bring further attention to her cause and the plights of women in Pakistan certainly for the initial period of the focus? Absolutely. Would the cash award be used by Mulala to further changes to her cause, I must say I have serious doubts, as she is still very much in a Patriarchal society and underage. To this I ask where is the “mother” in the present news casts? Will all the recent events drive her to further the required changes; with or without the Nobel Peace prize? Only time will tell.
So asking the question of should she receive the Nobel Prize?
I think more information is required and I hope for all of the previously overlooked nominees that the awarding committee does not act in haste but on facts.