US Senate. - File Photo by Reuters

WASHINGTON: A bill named after Malala Yousufzai is getting bipartisan support in the US Senate as key Democratic and Republican lawmakers are backing the proposed measure, sources on Capitol Hill told Dawn. Another bill, moved in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, is also supported by lawmakers from both parties, the sources added.

The bill moved in the house seeks to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Malala, “in recognition of her devoted service to education, justice, and equality in Pakistan.”

The bill moved in the Senate last week, is designed to expand scholarship opportunities for disadvantaged young women in Pakistan.

“I am proud to introduce the Malala Yousufzai Scholarship Act alongside Senator Barbara Boxer and to dedicate it to Malala and the millions of other girls and women who risk their lives every day to gain an education,” said Senator Mary Landrieu.

“Malala Yousufzai bravely advocated for the education of women and girls, something that should be a basic human right,” said Senator Boxer. “This bill not only recognises Malala’s incredible courage, but will ensure that more young women in Pakistan are able to pursue their dreams through higher education.”

The bill noted that 15-year old Malala had been an outspoken advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan and who gained international attention for her blog documenting the Taliban’s crackdown on the rights of women and girls.

“The attack on Malala reminds us of the difficult obstacles women and girls face around the world every day, including poverty, low social standing and violence, in their quest to espouse the basic freedoms enjoyed by American women,” said Senator Landrieu.

“Providing an education is absolutely critical for the future of every girl and society as a whole. When women and men have equal access to educational resources, economies flourish, families strengthen and societies move forward. By lifting up the rights of women internationally, we can strengthen women’s rights here at home, too.”

The Malala Yousufzai Scholarship Act would expand and enhance an existing United States Agency for International Development scholarship programme called the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Programme. The programme awards scholarships for university study in agriculture or business administration to economically disadvantaged young men and women from rural areas of Pakistan. To date, of the 1,807 scholarships awarded, only 25 per cent of the recipients have been women.

The Boxer-Landrieu bill would require a 30 per cent increase in the number of scholarships awarded under the programme for the next four years, and that these additional scholarships be awarded solely to women.

More From This Section

SC has learnt to bolster democracy, says chief justice

Authority of SC may be extended to a number of areas from which it has historically maintained a distance, said CJ.

Army to help govt eradicate poliovirus in conflict zone

North and South Waziristan agencies, and Bara are major areas of concern due to the recurring polio cases.

Diamer-Bhasha will be top priority: new Wapda chief

Mehmood explained his working agenda, putting launch of 4,500MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam project on top of his priority list.

No harm in accepting Taliban demands: JI

Mr Haq said the talks were not the issue of the two “Sharifs” it was an issue of the country’s solidarity.

Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper