US: ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ for Pakistan

Recently, the U.S. Congress has passed the ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’. This act is aimed at expanding the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women for higher education under a needs and merit-based programme.

Key Points

  • This act for increasing the scholarships for Pakistani women was passed by the US House of Representatives in March 2020.
  • It has now been passed by the US Senate on January 1.
  • The bill has now been sent to the U.S. President Donald Trump to be made into law.
  • As per the act/bill, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will be required to award at least 50% of scholarships to Pakistani women under a Pakistan-based higher education scholarship programme from the year 2020 to 2022.
  • The scholarships will be provided as per the current eligibility conditions across various academic disciplines.
  • In addition to this, as per the bill, USAID will be required to consult with and leverage investments by Pakistan’s private sector and Pakistani diaspora in the US with an aim of improving and expanding access to education programmes in Pakistan.
  • Also, USAID will also have to brief the US Congress about the number of scholarships provided under the programme annually along with giving breakdowns by discipline, gender, degree, etc.
  • Since the year 2010, USAID has provided over 6,000 scholarships for young Pakistani women for higher education.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala is a Pakistani activist who raised her voice against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. She was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle in 2014.

Malala was also shot by the Pakistani Taliban because of her raising her voice for education for all.