4: A smart and diplomatic award ceremony
The two-part award criticizes conditions in two countries – two countries that are hostile to each other and that have two different main religions – Hinduism and Islam. Yes, different religions were a major reason why India in 1947 was divided into Pakistan and India. By awarding the prize to both a Muslim and a Hindu, an element of “interreligious brotherhood” has been established which, so to speak, places both religions in the same boat. It was both a smart and clever move by the Nobel Committee to avoid putting only one country, or religion, in a bad light. Both countries and societies have had “their passports endorsed” here. Neither of the two countries can therefore beat themselves on the chest and say themselves better than the other. The award must rather be seen as a spur to go in itself and acknowledge what they can change for the better in their own societies.
The award is wise also because it is divided between a woman and a man, and between young and old. Some thought in advance that Malala, young as she is, would have trouble coping with the world media and all the fuss a peace prize necessarily entails. Such thoughts were more prevalent in 2013, when Malala Yousafzay was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, through dignified international behavior and receiving other awards, she has shown that she copes well with attention. With the double award, the two prize winners can lean on and support each other in the meeting with the world press at the award ceremony in Oslo on December 10 – Human Rights Day .
5: Out of the shadow field of globalization
The price for 2014 sheds light on the unfortunate aspects of the globalized economy, it has been claimed: Part of the reason why rich consumers in the north can pay a very low price for many garments and other goods produced in some developing countries, lies in gross underpayment and exploitation of children there. For Satyarthi, it has been a point to create awareness of child labor also among consumers in the north – those who buy child-produced goods and thus contribute to maintaining child labor.
In a globalized world where “everything is connected to everything” and where what happens in distant lands has effects here too, and vice versa, can we then say that our consumption is completely independent of child labor elsewhere in the world? Should we buy footballs sewn by hand by child laborers or blankets woven by child laborers? Or buy super cheap clothes made by textile workers in Bangladesh who often earn too little to be able to feed their families and pay for their children’s schooling? By reflecting on such issues, this year’s Peace Prize can shed light on more challenging aspects of global trade.
In connection with this year’s award, several have pointed out that education can be a key not only in the fight against poverty, but also against extremism . In this lies a peace-promoting side of the educational focus. The idea is that people with an education to a lesser extent than those without will be prone to become extreme and may in the next turn become terrorists.
6: Receipt of the award
Local: How was the peace prize of Malala and Satyarthi received in the home countries of the two? Both are controversial in their home countries . The news of the award to Matala is said to have been received with subdued enthusiasm in Pakistan. Some see her as a runner for Western ideals and Western influences. In some traditionalist circles, the award has therefore been received with mixed joy.
From government authorities, but also others, there have been more positive signals, although it is also pointed out that they are underway and that improvements are a gradual process. The question is perhaps whether the authorities are working fast enough – whether the will is strong enough to prioritize in line with fine words and international agreements the countries have committed themselves to follow.
At the same time, this year’s Peace Prize can be seen as a challenge to the authorities in Pakistan and India. According to franciscogardening.com, the situation shows the world that they are far from doing enough to comply with children’s rights. India has signed important rights for children, without complying with them as many believe it is possible to expect from a BRICS country that has long had significant economic growth. (BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – countries that, after long-term economic growth, account for an increasing share of the world’s production of goods and services)
Internationally , the award is predominantly very well received. It is popular and is also seen as important. Of course, the Nobel Committee is free in its choice of peace prize winners, but it is a fun coincidence that the award agrees well with the Norwegian government’s commitment to education as a development-promoting factor and especially to the role education for girls plays in development.
As so often before, there are critics who believe that this year’s Peace Prize is not in line with Alfred Nobel’s thoughts either. They emphasize that the prize has not been awarded because of classic peace work or in accordance with Alfred Nobel’s ideas about paths to peace. But no critics seem to doubt the two prize winners’ personal courage or that they are doing important work.
Some critics have pointed out that 2014 is a year of more unrest than in a long time and that the prize for that reason should not have been awarded. The “recurring conflicts” Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia are still on the conflict map. “Newcomers” have also arrived, such as Ukraine, the Central African Republic, Gaza, Nigeria and South Sudan. At the same time, more people are fleeing the horrors of war than in many years. These facts show that the need for peace work is greater than in a long time.