In October 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban on her way home from school because she was actively making a case for access to education for women and girls despite objections from the Pakistani Taliban.
“On January 13th, the President signed into law the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, which directs the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least 50 percent of Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Programme scholarships to Pakistani women,” said a statement issued by the White House.
Earlier this month, the US Congress passed the proposed law and sent it to the White House for the president to sign.
The bill was first passed by the House of Representatives in March 2020 and then by the US Senate by a voice vote on January 1st.
The scholarship will be implemented under a Pakistan-based higher education scholarship program for the period 2020 to 2022. The scholarship will be available across a range of academic disciplines and in accordance with existing eligibility criteria.
The bill also requires USAID to consult with and leverage investments by the Pakistani private sector and Pakistani diaspora in the United States to improve and expand access to education programs in Pakistan.
Among other things, it requires USAID to brief Congress annually on the number of scholarships awarded under the program, including breakdowns by gender, discipline, and degree type; the percentage of recipients who were involuntarily pushed out of the program for failure to meet program requirements; and the percentage of recipients who dropped out of school, including due to retaliation for seeking education.
In 2013, the United Nations had declared July 12th as “Malala Day” — a global day of support for and recognition of her bravery and courage in promoting women’s education.
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.