US Congress approves Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act for Pakistani women

With the passage of Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, the number of benefits for women in Pakistan will be increased under the Merit and Needs Based Program.

According to information published on the Congress website, the US Congress has passed a bill named after Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, under which the number of scholarships for women in Pakistan has been increased under the merit and need based program.

The Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act was passed by the House of Representatives in March 2020 and passed by the US Senate by voice vote on January 1, 2021.

The bill has now been sent to the White House for US President Donald Trump to sign into law.

The bill calls on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide at least 50 scholarships in a variety of academic subjects from 2020 to 2022 and, according to current qualification standards, under the Pakistan Higher Education Scholarship Program. Percentage of benefits should be given to Pakistani women. USAID also needs to consult and benefit from the investment of the Pakistani private sector and Pakistanis in the United States to improve and expand access to education programs in Pakistan in accordance with the principles of the bill.

The agency is required to brief Congress on the number of scholarships provided annually under the program, including gender, discipline, and degree type. The proportion of recipients who were voluntarily expelled from the program for not meeting the requirements of the program and the proportion of recipients who dropped out of school due to retaliation for getting education will also be taken into account.

Since 2010, USAID has awarded more than 6,000 scholarships to young women to pursue higher education in Pakistan. The Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act will expand the scope of the program.

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