By Abdullah Zahid.
WASHINGTON DC: The US Congress has passed Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, sending it to the White House to be signed into law.
The approved bill will expand the number of scholarships to women in Pakistan under a merit and needs-based programme.
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in March last year, and the US Senate adopted it by a voice vote last Friday, according to the congress website.
Currently, it has been sent to President Donald Trump to sign it into law.
The bill requires the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least 50% of scholarships to Pakistani women, across a range of academic disciplines and in accordance with existing eligibility criteria.
In October 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by local Taliban militia on her way home from school.
After two years, she won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts for children’s rights.
In late 2008, Malala began making the case for access to education for women and girls despite objections from the Pakistani extremists.
Since 2010, the USAID has awarded more than 6,000 scholarships for young women to receive higher education in Pakistan. The bill will expand this programme.