Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act

The United States Congress has approved the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, which will expand opportunities for women in Pakistan to pursue higher education through a merit-based and need-based program.

In March 2020, the House of Representatives passed the bill and was then approved by the Senate by voice vote on January 1, 2021.

This article will provide information about Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act in the context of the IAS Exam.

About Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act

  • Across a range of academic disciplines and following existing eligibility criteria, the US Agency for International Development will be required to allocate no less than 50% of scholarship funds offered through the Pakistan-based scholarship program to female Pakistanis between 2020 and 2022.
  • Furthermore, as part of the bill, USAID will cooperate with and utilise investments from Pakistan and members of the Pakistani diaspora to better and expand educational programs in Pakistan.
  • It also requires USAID to report annually to Congress on the quantity and types of scholarships that were awarded, as well as the per cent of students who were forced to drop out for failing to meet the requirements of the program; and the rate who dropped out of school as a result of retaliation.

What is USAID?

  • The US State Department administers foreign aid through this interdependent agency.
  • The World Bank has a budget of 27 billion US dollars, making it one of the largest aid agencies in the world.

Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act: History

  • A Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Malala after she and Kailash Satyarthi, an activist for children’s rights, collectively argued that children and young people should not be suppressed and allowed to have an education.
  • While walking home from school, Malala was shot by the Pakistani Taliban in October 2012. Despite opposition from the Pakistani Taliban, she began advocating for women’s and girls’ access to education.
  • USAID has granted approximately 6,000 scholarships to aspiring women to obtain educational opportunities in Pakistan since 2010. This program will be expanded.

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Key Features of the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act

  • Between 2020 and 2022, the Act requires the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to award 50% of scholarships to Pakistani women.
  • USAID must leverage Pakistani private sector investments in the United States to do this. By doing so, access to education in Pakistan will be improved and expanded.
  • In compliance with the law, USAID must inform Congress about the number of scholarships provided under this program.
  • A percentage of recipients who are involuntarily kicked out of the program when they fail to meet program requirements is included.

About Malala Yousafzai

  • Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai is an advocate for female education.
  • She won the Nobel Peace Prize when she was only 14 years old.
  • Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has been named UN Messenger of Peace by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
  • She was hailed as a sign of the foremost vital need in the world, which is education for all.
  • This made her the youngest Messenger of Peace in UN history.
  • The Taliban attempted to prevent women from receiving an education.
  • The Taliban had banned girls from attending schools.
  • In retaliation for her activism, a Pakistani Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai in October 2012.
  • Afterwards, she was rendered unconscious from the bullet wound to her head.
  • After being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, she underwent further treatment there.

What is Malala Day?

  • At the United Nations on July 12, 2013, Malala spoke about the importance of access to education for all.
  • It just so happened to be her 16th birthday that day.
  • She was honoured with Malala Day by the United Nations.


The United States Congress passed the ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act,’ which will provide Pakistani women with more scholarships under the merit-based and needs-based scholarship programs until 2022. Specifically, the bill mandates that at least half of the scholarships be awarded to Pakistani women.

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus 2022 page.

Frequently Asked Questions about Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act


How does USAID contribute to the Scholarship Program?

More than 6000 scholarships have been awarded to young women in Pakistan by USAID. Those scholarships facilitate Pakistani women receiving higher education in Pakistan. The program will expand further by expanding the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act.


State the nations that passed the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act?

A bill called the ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ has been passed by the United States Congress for the benefit of women from Pakistan. The scholarship act will help expand opportunities for women in Pakistan to pursue higher education through a merit-based and need-based program.

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