FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 22, 2012 CONTACT: Jordy Gold, Campaigns Director, Change.org - Canada, (202) 684 2552 firstname.lastname@example.org ***PRESS RELEASE*** PRIMEMessage 1 of 1 , Nov 22, 2012View Source
PRIME MINISTER AND ALL PARTY LEADERS NOMINATE MALALA FOR NOBEL PRIZE IN RESPONSE TO PETITION
Prime Minister Harper declares his support for the 'Nobel For Malala' petition
Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah's petition on Change.org sparks a global movement as petition clears 160,000 signatures
Canadian Senator Ataullahjan visits Malala who is doing "very, very well"
TORONTO, ON – On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Harper and his wife Laureen declared support for a petition calling on the Nobel Foundation to award 15 year old Malala Yusufzai the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous work promoting access to education for girls in the Swat valley in Pakistan, an area once controlled by the Taliban.
After tweeting his support for the petition the Prime Minister said, "Laureen and I are pleased to support Malala Yousafzai, a determined young woman who has done so much to promote education and women's rights in her native Pakistan. All Canadians salute her courage and tenacity and wish her well in her recovery."
The petition was launched on Change.org by Tarek Fatah, a well-known Muslim Canadian commentator who had been inspired by Malala's work and was outraged after the youth was shot by a Taliban gunman in October.
Tarek's petition made clear that the first step was to ensure that Malala would be nominated and called on Canada's federal leaders to make a major statement by unanimously nominating her for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. The petition has achieved this goal with all party leaders coming out in support. Four nomination letters have been sent to the Nobel Foundation and one party is currently completing their letter.
"I am absolutely delighted the Prime Minister has nominated Malala for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize," said Fatah. "The fact that all of Canada's political party leaders could join together to lend their name to this noble cause is not just a validation of Malala's enormous courage, but also the greatness of Canada where good people of all political stripes came together to support a child halfway across the world."
Also on Wednesday, Canadian Senator Salma Ataullahjan visited with Malala and her family in a UK hospital and had the opportunity to tell them about the 'Nobel For Malala' petition. The Senator was happy to report “Malala is doing very, very well and the doctors are really pleased with her progress.”
While Fatah's 'Nobel For Malala' petition was the first, it has now sparked a global phenomenon. People around the world are setting up this same petition in their own country asking for their political leaders to come together to nominate Malala for the Nobel Prize. Pages have been started in eight countries including the UK, France and Pakistan and the counter on the petition reflects the cumulative efforts of all these petitions from around the world.
Fatah is asking all Canadians and people around the world to continue signing the petition to encourage other world leaders to come out in support of Malala, and ultimately, to push the Nobel Foundation to award Malala the Nobel Peace Prize.
"This major petition victory comes just as we reached one million Canadian users," said Jordy Gold, Campaigns Director for Change.org in Canada. "It is incredible to see how people are using the site to bring together not only our federal party leaders, but also people who care about the same issues from all around the world."
Journalists interested in setting up an interview should use the contact details at the top of the page.
Live signature totals from Tarek Fatah's 'Nobel For Malala' campaign:
Quotations from other Canadian federal parties and party leaders:
Liberal Party Leader Bob Rae
"Around the world, from country to country, we are seeing the emergence of a growing movement in support of Malala…(She) is an inspiration to us all."
Quote from the NDP's nomination letter submitted by Member of Parliament Paul Dewar
"Sixty-four years ago the international community signed onto the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…Sixty-four years later, women are still not equal. Acknowledging Malala would reaffirm the world community's commitment to women's empowerment and equality for all persons."
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May
"I am so inspired by her bravery and idealism. We must all re-commit to ensure the rights of all women and girls."
Bloc Québécois Leader Daniel Paillé
"Tens of thousands of Canadians, Quebecers and people from other countries have signed this petition. Malala's courage and tenacity have inspired people around the world and awarding her the Nobel Peace Prize would take us one step closer towards a more peaceful and just society."
For more information on Change.org, please visit:
Change.org is the world's largest petition platform, empowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see. There are more than 20 million users in 196 countries who use our tools to transform their communities – locally, nationally and globally.