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Madonna’s pledge for female education in Pakistan

Published Jun 03, 2013 06:52pm


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This image provided by Sotheby’s shows “Three Women at the Red Table” by Fernand Leger which was offered at Sotheby’s for sale in May. Pop diva Madonna is parting with the abstract French painting she’s owned for more than 20 years to support girls’ education in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. -AP Photo

The shooting of Malala Yousufzai made front-page news around the world last year, and the after-effects of that include the attention of several important and famous figures on the state of female education in Pakistan.

In April this year, film star Angelina Jolie initiated a fund for school girls’ education in Pakistan. The first grant will provide funding for forty girls in the country.

But Jolie is not the only one to have shown interest – last week, pop icon and music legend Madonna pledged money for expanding a school in a poverty-stricken area outside Karachi. The school is run by young Humeira Bachal, and is reportedly the only school (public or private) in that locality.

Jolie and Madonna are just a few examples of the outpouring of celebrity support Malala has received. Other celebrities have often take up different philanthropic causes around the world – Actor Sean Penn has also raised a voice for flood relief efforts in Pakistan.

Many, however, criticise such efforts, highlighting that the hype around celebrity support isn’t necessarily accompanied by sincere efforts to eradicate poverty or address a particular social issue. Other criticisms include that such announcement of philanthropy serve more as ‘good PR’ for the celebrities rather than the cause itself.

On the other hand, it can be argued that the more famous a person associated with a charitable cause, the more likely it is that their endorsement will attract funding. The publicity that comes with celebrities can lead to more money for a cause as well its efficient execution in a transparent manner.

Do you think celebrity endorsement contributes positively to philanthropic causes? Or is the enlistment of people like Jolie and Madonna merely a way to boost their own publicity with little substantial improvement happening on the ground in the countries where they’ve pledged support? invites its readers to share their views. 


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Comments (60) Closed

sm Jun 04, 2013 09:28am
I honestly don't care who gets the publicity as long as the objective is achieved which is educating young girls.
sm Jun 04, 2013 09:30am
Beggars beg. If somebody is willingly pledging for something or providing funds to you without asking that can't be begging.
Farooq Ali Jun 05, 2013 12:08pm
Yes the great and democratic Pakistan.
Ebrhm shakir Jun 05, 2013 05:27am
I don't know Madonna inspires me or not. but one thing certainly inspire me is, that the American and other country, that don't want to see Pakistan in the list of a developed an powerful countries,will highlighted all those issues which are cause to black dot on the Pakistan's face. and they will never appropriated the positive side of the Pakistan.e,g the lose of many Pakistani civilian and army's lives in the war of terrorism and bomb blast in last ten years. if they really faithful with Pakistanis just pressurize OBAMA Govt to stop Drone Attack in Pakistan.have they don't know how innocent people and children have been killed in the this kind of Bloody attack.? had they not seen and hear all about this? why they just want to help the school? if there will no children for come to school. it all Global Game not sympathy with Pakistanis, and in this game our politician and other institutions are also involved, otherwise nothing is impossible for a nuclear power's country..
Farooq Ali Jun 05, 2013 05:16am
It is every where in the World that rich minority has the advantage of buying better education than the poor, assaults on girls schools have nothing to do with this nation they were an outcome of Afghan War in a limited area most of which was not even part of our country.
Farooq Ali Jun 05, 2013 05:09am
I disagree as I have also visited several countries of the world spoke to people their and found majority having great regards for our country and our sacrifices in war of terror. of course they laughed a lot in the shows conducted by our television artists like Omar Shareef.
RV Jun 05, 2013 03:25am
Whether her intentions are for a genuine cause or for the sake of her own publicity.. in any case it is helps the girls of Pakistan...
Naseer Jun 05, 2013 02:37am
Wake up please.
citizen Jun 04, 2013 02:23pm
I have no comment on the intentions of the celebrities in espousing causes such as education but I do know for sure that our education problems will not be solved by a Madonna or Angelina Jolie... what we need is long term changes in terms of higher government spending on education to improve quality and availability. Madonna or Angelina are irrelevant when it comes to improving the education profile of a country with close to 200 million people.
Brian Jun 04, 2013 12:52pm
Pretty broad statement about a whole bunch of people. Can YOU be lumped into one single category? Are you aware of the 15 plus years of outreach and charitable donations spearheaded by Madonna worldwide, as she is one of the few true international artist to hold records in most of the countries in this world? What have you done to assist the needy on this planet except complain?
Jabeen Jun 04, 2013 08:55am
Instead of doubting intentions, we should be gracious enough to laud their support for education OTHERWISE no one would do this in the future.
Alan Jun 04, 2013 08:55am
Mr Farooq....are we referring Pakistan here??
Akram Jun 05, 2013 10:09am
I agree with you in that poor literacy is the root cause of most of our problems, I don't agree that the state is not interested. The literacy ratio is rising, too slowly yes, but the state's argument is that it lacks the resources. When out of 180 million people and a working force of 100 million odd, less than 1 million pay income tax. That is a disgrace, and the root cause of government inertia. The government at the end of the day only reflects its people, until each Pakistani becomes more interested in pay his/her dues than self promotion, these problems will persist. We have the examples like Abdul Salaam Edhi saab to follow, but how many readers are willing to follow him and have a simple life generous life that is about giving?
kalam Jun 04, 2013 07:49am
Remember six balls six sixes in 2007 cricket world cup by Herschelle Gibbs? He was given prize money of one million dollars by Johnnie Walker. He donated the money to a humanitarian organization in South Africa to build houses in Africa. I was working with that humanitarian organization then and over the next few months; this move raised a lot more funds for us both in Africa and from other parts of the world. From a fund raising point of view, it sure will attract more funding for education in Pakistan. A seasoned fund raiser would tell you that there is nothing better than such a global endorsement. It sure will draw more attention and irrespective of what Madonna is up to, will provide relief to, if not many, some Pakistanis. However, since we cannot, at all, let anything go by without injecting a doubt, conspiracy, suspicion and mistrust, you cannot rule out the possibility of an attack on the schools funded by Madonna or Angelina Julie by some group, claiming it to be against Sharia.
Khalid Jun 04, 2013 07:47am
We have become so rude and ill mannered to the very people who are trying to be kind. Whatever their motives, it will help the children of the poor. We are always eager to criticize because we ourselves do not believe in helping out poor people. If that was the case, we would not have poor people in our country. What would Madonna get out of helping poor people in Pakistan?. Do you think she will have a concert in Pakistan?.
Syed Jun 04, 2013 06:22am
We are a nation of doubters. We doubt anything and everything, evil or good. If Taliban bombs schools, shrines, and kills a hundred and accept responsibility, we doubt it.. ! If someone from west comes forward to help our poor, education system.. we doubt it...! What is sure though, is we wont do anything good ourselves , ofcourse except knitting conspiracy theories.
Dr. Syed Imam Jun 04, 2013 05:04am
Mr. Ata, if you have a good heart and sincere in your actions, you don't need any motive to help others.
TamzaK Jun 04, 2013 04:44am
Related though somewhat different is Greg Mortenson's schools in Swat, Afghanistan etc. Three Cups of Tea.
TamzaK Jun 04, 2013 04:43am
So WHAT IS wrong with that! The feeling of having done some good (in education) is the same as the feeling of having brought up a family well. Parents are probably the least selfish group, though by your thinking even parents would be counted as selfish.
Farooq Ali Jun 04, 2013 04:42am
This so called philanthropy is for personal image building and projecting our male as cruel and female as the victim , the outcome may be a degraded image of our culture and country. The factual picture is just the opposite our girls are making strides in medical and dental colleges ,our universities and business colleges are full of female students, girls are on top of merit list in competitive examinations they are running excellent educational institutes and are showing up well in electronic media. Why not our philanthropist come forward and announce a fund for eradicating violence against women living in the developed world.
Sali Jun 04, 2013 04:30am
Bottom line, they helped. Did Zardari help? Our politicians are looting while these people are sincere about changing the lives of people.
shajia ahmed Jun 04, 2013 04:10am
If Imran Khan can build a cancer hospital from people's money in Pakistan why can't a school be run on local people's money?
ANEES Jun 04, 2013 04:20am
@ some comments here - Beggars are pleased with anything given.
rabiafaizy Jun 04, 2013 03:04am
Look its great that people would like to promote literacy in Pakistan. But they've got to pick and choose the person who does this. First there was the fake American vaccination campaign actually launched to capture OBL. That played right into the so called 'Islamic' militants' hands. 'Look!' they said.'This is what these campaigns are. American propaganda to hurt your children/destabilise Islam/whatever.' So now we have people refusing to vaccinate their kids against polio and the results. And now Madonna. Is there any dearth of risque videos connected with this paticular celebrity? Yes she sings well. But can you think of no way/s in which her attempts can be manipulated in the same way as the vaccination campaign was? Please Madonna. We appreciate your interest. But if you wish for literacy in this country, stay away from it, and hand the job over to someone like Cliff Richard.
Akil Akhtar Jun 04, 2013 01:55am
It is all part of western fashion, don't you see Hollywood where adopting a foreign child is also one.
KCK Jun 04, 2013 02:05am
These celebrities are now popular in many countries. It's their goodwill that they want to contribute toward the cause. We should appreciate and learn from them and encourage our people who can afford to contribute towards the cause for helping those who may need help.
freeman Jun 04, 2013 01:33am
Strange discussion. How many from our own country are supporting charity? I dare to ask writer whose name is not publish, what he/she did for charity and specially to educate children of Pakistan? I think forum should be on this topic foreign charity and domestic charity at glance.
Shaps Jun 04, 2013 01:26am
Don't think there is even one charity in Pakistan that makes to the top 10000 in the world. So what is the criticism about? People like Bill Gates, Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Warren Buffet are just a few examples of good humans. The least we can do is respect their contribution towards society. They have no obligation towards Pakistan. Most of then genuinely feel for the poor all over the world. In the process, if they gain some fame or attention, there is no harm. They are celebrities and get that regardless of any charity. I remember, president AZ continued his tour to London for launching his son's political career while poor of our country lost their homes during the flood. Shameful! There is nothing wrong in getting assistance from international charities. It would be nice if the critics focused on the assistance we get that result in using our soil for fighting other people's wars. Now that is a totally separate topic :)
rosh Jun 04, 2013 01:03am
Shame for Fazlu Diesel, Zardari and others who just eat,drink and look for their enjoyment.
Ali Dada Jun 04, 2013 01:06am
Govt. of Pakistan is already receiving aid from donor countries for education sector. Pakistani students pay fees to Govt. also. Where is all this money going to? More and more Pakistan seems to be becoming the new-age Africa (ironically many African countries are now better than Pakistan anyways....)
G.A. Jun 03, 2013 10:56pm
Contrast this with a Saudi prince who just spent 15 million Euros at Paris Disney to celebrate his graduation. There is abject poverty in Saudi Arabia which is inexcusable. Perhaps Madonna should offer to help poverty-stricken Saudis as well as a slap to the elites there.
Jalaluddin S. Hussain Jun 03, 2013 10:34pm
The short answer to your question is: Yes, I think celebrity endorsement will contribute positively to the philanthropic causes.
Hello Darlings Jun 04, 2013 09:47am
I don't know; Madonna inspires me, and I find myself more often than not supporting charities she is involved with.
Far Jun 03, 2013 07:00pm
They already have enough popularity in this world, not hunger like you negative mindset people who just talk and are jealous! Whatever they are doing ispositive and on human grounds.
ipcressfiles Jun 04, 2013 03:37pm
It is a shame when an elected government is derelict in it's duties toward the citizens of the country! Successive governments (from the very beginning) in your country have repeatedly failed in providing for fundamental needs of the people. Without education for the masses and especially worthwhile, meaningful education a people and their country will wither away and just give way to rotting in society. That is what is happening in Pakistan! Instead of complaining, be thankful that some folk (in the West) are interested and generous enough to provide for such education. Obviously, your government (present and past) is negelectful, incompetent and self-absorbed to the extent that they have allowed for the disintegration of your social fibre!!!!
pakiboy Jun 03, 2013 06:07pm
She can not say anything for innocent people killed by drones, but education in Pakistan, does she have any idea where Pakistan is on the map!
Agha Ata Jun 03, 2013 05:56pm
You will hardly find a person who helps others without a motive, be it to get more fame, or more power, or more sawab (Arabic word) or all three!
Amjad Wyne Jun 03, 2013 05:36pm
Those that criticize are welcome to step forward and shoulder the burden. They should also remember that educating our children is our responsibility.
excalibur Jun 04, 2013 04:01pm
Spare a thought for the small , malnourished children of our absolutely taken for granted domestic help in our homes watching the plump sahib 's children stuffing themselves with food before leaving for their private schools where they study. Taleban and their mindset are atleast not hypocritical like ours. What do we do for such children ? does Taleban stop us from doing the right thing ?
Lisa Jun 04, 2013 04:05pm
Stars like Madonna are not very credible because they say that that they are fighting for great causes like women's right, environment etc... but they are not even aware of their own behavior. How can she fight for the environment and human rights when she wears fur (a skinned alive defenseless animal)? Knowing that in order to fight famine and environment issues, furs and mass production of meat is destroying our own earth. How much ignorant and uneducated someone can be? Madonna, instead of preaching people to get an education you need one yourself. She is so uneducated and ignorant. She is a Speciest. Speciests are ignorant creationists who don't understand Theory Of Evolution! Madonna go back and get and education before making a fool of yourself. You can fool the uneducated mainstream but not the intellectuals. What a joke!
S. Imam Jun 04, 2013 06:05pm
You said " the outcome may be a degraded image of our culture and country." The image of your country and culture are the laughing stock for whole world already.
farid Jun 03, 2013 02:21pm
People like Sean Penn are doing great job and they don't need popularity.
Naseer Jun 03, 2013 03:48pm
This shows our character. On one side we have our own people bombing our schools and on the other hand we have foreigners doing atleast something for education in our country. But many of us still support those who although are one of us, but they are killing our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters and destroying our schools.
Masood Hussain Jun 03, 2013 03:14pm
weird thinking.
Khalid Jun 03, 2013 02:28pm
Does no one in Pakistan have the manners to accept a gift with grace and be thankful to the people who are doing this?. Do we have to be negative about everything?. Would you rather have uneducated children in Pakistan?
MBA Jun 04, 2013 05:37pm
Fantastic comment. Mr Syed has expresses the real picture (and one of the fundamental problem) of Pakistan in just five lines.
Shakil Jun 04, 2013 08:13pm
Well said.
MBA Jun 04, 2013 05:45pm
Mr. Ali, are we talking about the same country? Are you really speaking about equal rights for women in Pakistan? We all know that only a rich miniority of Pakistani families are able to send their childern (girla & boys) in Universities. Most of the girls coming out of Univrsities (normally with better grades than boys) turns up in housewives. By the way, the "philanthropist" are talking about basic education. Probably you were not reading the news papers when the assaults on girls schools were reported. And by the way, the others are announcing funds for our sisters and daughters, because we failed to do our job!
Ali Jun 04, 2013 07:24pm
And those who would do anything good will not be elected. The only person who used his stature to build a cancer hospital and university did not even win NA seat from Lahore.
Alex Jun 04, 2013 02:58pm
Very simply, following Madonna's appeal, I have donated money for the Pakistani school and will donate for other acts love initiated by Madonna. If Madonna stays for so long at the top, it is not only because of her talent and her work, but also because of her sincerity and her authenticity.
shah Jun 04, 2013 02:14pm
The money that she has earned by spreading obscenity and vulgarity should be rejected. As it is the very first bad education that we will be giving our children. The first step in education should be morals and humanity and not just letters. Our children should be saved even from the shadow of such people, who have made obscenity a common part of the society, and ripped it off it's moral and ethical values. Their money is good enough to be burnt to ashes. We shouldn't be so shameless that for a couple of dollars we compromise with our morals.
Brian Jun 04, 2013 12:44pm
I am a fan of Madonnas and have joined her and donated to this project. I can tell you I would probably not donate to another country and I have not in the past with the exception of Raising Malawi, also through Madonna. I donate to my favorite charities in the USA often, but when it comes to internationally, trust is an issue. I understand all will not take this route, but a trusted celebrity (as Madonna is to me), can certainly not only bring awareness but the more often needed cold hard cash to the table.
ebrhm Jun 04, 2013 06:40pm
infact our politicians and even civil society also not want enhance our literary ratio in country. we have seen may protest against drone attack,electricity crisis, and over political issues but, I did not see any walk or protest to improve our education system. all the problems which are faced by Pakistani people is just because of low literacy ratio in country, if we make the people of country understand, it will be death of the corrupt establishment of the country. people will able to understand that what is beneficial and harmful for them, then they will realize what they should do for themselves and for their country. but our establishment and politician do not want to do this. why..? it is the point..
Akram Jun 04, 2013 11:08am
why do you taliban sympathisers only mention the innocents killed by drones? what about the thousands of innocents killed by Taliban, the thousands kidnapped for ransom, thousands affected by the the Talibans drugs? you have a selective memory which is why we are in the mess we are in.
Akram Jun 04, 2013 11:04am
because few Pakistanis are willing to shoulder the financial burden, they are more interested in buying a Mercedes.
Akram Jun 04, 2013 11:03am
no one has the right to criticize these philanthropic acts until they themselves have done something greater for the good of the people. That means most Pakistanis do not in fact have a right to criticism. Talk less, do more.
Yawar Jun 04, 2013 10:53am
These questions should be posed to the donation beneficiaries and their families. Why are we so averse to a fellow countryman benefitting from foreign contributions?
Yawar Jun 04, 2013 10:46am
100% correct
Sara Khan Jun 04, 2013 10:28am
hahahhahahha good point!
Sara Khan Jun 04, 2013 10:25am
Why doesn't she join a college of her own and get some education first! Pakistani women are more educated than American women can ever be! Their media and thuer campaigns are for their own benefits,and the higher authorities must have an agenda! There are agencies that do social welfare, all Pakistan based and run by sincere non profit organisations,IF she really wants to help! why not just silently fund, they don't have any shortage of money or fame! There is a hidden agenda behind it for sure.Americans are sincere to no one!