Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai was last night honoured as the country’s most influential Asian, at this year’s GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards.

The 16-year-old, who was shot and wounded in October last year after opposing the Taliban’s restrictions on the education of girls, beat Labour MP Keith Vaz to the top spot in the GG2 Power List, compiled by The Asian Media and Marketing Group and announced at the gala ceremony yesterday.

Miss Yousafzai, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year, was recognised for her work in raising awareness for female empowerment.

One Direction star Zayn Malik was voted at number seven in the list, while Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Labour MP Sadiq Khan were named in the top 20.

The GG2 Hammer Award, which is given to individuals who have broken through the glass ceiling, was handed to Miss Yousafzai and her two friends Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan. The three girls were handed the award for their bravery in standing up against Taliban rule in their village in Pakistan.

Recovering from their attack, the girls continue to campaign for women’s rights. Malala, who was treated in Britain, now goes to school here.

The GG2 Young Journalist of the Year award, which is sponsored by the Daily Mail, was won by Nazia Dewji, a 25-year-old reporter for the Surrey Comet and Kingston Guardian.

The annual prize is open to journalists under 30 from any ethnic minority.

source: dailymail UK