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house Bill H.R. 4508

Should at Least Half of U.S.-Funded Scholarships for Pakistani Students Go to Women?

Argument in favor

Educating women is an important component of lifting families out of poverty, stabilizing communities, and ensuring that women gain the skills to participate in the economy. It’s important to ensure that U.S.-funded scholarships for Pakistani students are equitably distributed to both male and female students in that country.

Lynne's Opinion
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03/03/2020
In a perfect world merit based is how it should be. However, that’s not even true in the United States where racism still rears its ugly head and money buys everything. Let alone Pakistan where women are considered second class citizens
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jimK's Opinion
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03/03/2020
If all things were equal in Pakistan, I would argue that scholarships should go only to the most qualified. In Pakistan however, I do not believe that all things are equal, and women need assistance to gain social acceptance and assure that they have a voice in Pakistani society, as is the case in many societies around the world - including in many ways, our own. Of course, many men may not support this ‘competition’ because they are threatened by having a more equitable society- kind of like our white supremacists are threatened by immigrants of color. So what! Elevating and educating all people makes the world a better, fairer place.
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Brian's Opinion
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03/03/2020
Since at least half of the population of the world is women (isn't it more, now?), then it makes sense that at least half the scholarship money should also go to women. This makes sense to me. I can't see any reason not to split the money fairly between male and female students, no matter the country.
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Argument opposed

This bill is unnecessary, as USAID already grants more than 50% of the scholarships it awards to Pakistani students to women. If anything, the report to Congress that this bill mandates is a layer of unnecessary bureaucracy that’ll detract from USAID’s actual work.

Sean's Opinion
···
03/03/2020
No. It should go to the most qualified. Like everything else that’s “diversity based” it should go to the most qualified person, not the most diverse. You can’t demand equality and expect different rules. This is what decades of misinformation has done. Stop trying to be the victim when you don’t get your way.
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operaman's Opinion
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03/03/2020
Isn't it great we can pay for Pakistani women to attend college? And this also extends to men. What a great country we are to pay for non-citizens to attend college. Let's spend the money instead on creating rainbows and animal-shaped clouds.
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Dennis's Opinion
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03/03/2020
Why is it that our government seeks to tax an American wage earners income to take care of people in other nations? I have nothing against Pakistani ladies but I have a real problem with politicians that want to be philanthropists with other peoples money. Charity is not a part of government, its supposed to be a part of the American individual to
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed March 3rd, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 374 Yea / 16 Nay
    IntroducedSeptember 26th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 4508?

This bill — the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act — would require the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least half of the scholarships made through the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program (MNBSP) to female students. It would also require the USAID Administrator to collaborate with the Pakistani private sector and Pakistani communities in the U.S. to improve the quality of, expand access to, and ensure the sustainability of education programs in Pakistan. On an annual basis, USAID would be required to brief Congress on whether it has met this bill’s requirements.

This legislation’s title, the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, pays homage to Pakistani activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. 

Impact

U.S.-funded scholarships for Pakistani students; Pakistani students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees; and Pakistani women.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4508

The CBO estimates that this bill would cost less than $500,000 to implement over the 2020-2024 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) introduced this bill to ensure that at least half of USAID’s scholarships supporting Pakistani students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees are given to female students. 

The Basic Education Coalition (BEC) supports this bill. It expressed support for this bill and the Global Child Thrive Act of 2019 (H.R.4508) in a December 18, 2019, statement after both bills’ unanimous passage by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

This legislation passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee by unanimous consent and has the support of 31 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 17 Democrats and 14 Republicans. The Borgen Project and Basic Education Coalition (BEC) support this legislation.


Of Note: The USAID and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan established the MNBSP to fund full-tuition scholarships to talented, but economically disadvantaged, Pakistani youth interested in bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

In each of the last four fiscal years, USAID has awarded at least half of the scholarship money through the MNBSP to female students. Therefore, USAID is already in compliance with this bill’s primary provision.

Pakistan ranks second in the world for the most girls out of school. According to the World Bank, only 64% of Pakistani women were in school in 2018. By ninth grade, only 13% of girls are still in school; before that point, more than one-third of young girls don’t attend primary school at all.

Malala Yousafzai, for whom this bill is named, is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. In 2012, she was shot by the Taliban in an attempted assassination in retribution for her activism in favor of girls’ education (at the time, the local Taliban had banned all girls from attending school). While recovering from the shooting at a hospital in the U.K., Malala founded the Malala Fund with the mission of securing 12 years of free, safe, quality education for young women around the world. According to the Malala Fund, providing every girl around the world 12 years of education would increase women’s earnings by $15 trillion.

When women receive secondary education, they improve their prospects in life, strengthen their communities, and lift their families out of poverty. According to the Malala Fund, women with secondary education earn almost twice as much as women without any education. 


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: UK Department for International Development via Wikimedia Commons)

AKA

Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act

Official Title

To expand the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women under the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program.

    In a perfect world merit based is how it should be. However, that’s not even true in the United States where racism still rears its ugly head and money buys everything. Let alone Pakistan where women are considered second class citizens
    Like (74)
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    No. It should go to the most qualified. Like everything else that’s “diversity based” it should go to the most qualified person, not the most diverse. You can’t demand equality and expect different rules. This is what decades of misinformation has done. Stop trying to be the victim when you don’t get your way.
    Like (62)
    Follow
    Share
    If all things were equal in Pakistan, I would argue that scholarships should go only to the most qualified. In Pakistan however, I do not believe that all things are equal, and women need assistance to gain social acceptance and assure that they have a voice in Pakistani society, as is the case in many societies around the world - including in many ways, our own. Of course, many men may not support this ‘competition’ because they are threatened by having a more equitable society- kind of like our white supremacists are threatened by immigrants of color. So what! Elevating and educating all people makes the world a better, fairer place.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    Isn't it great we can pay for Pakistani women to attend college? And this also extends to men. What a great country we are to pay for non-citizens to attend college. Let's spend the money instead on creating rainbows and animal-shaped clouds.
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    Since at least half of the population of the world is women (isn't it more, now?), then it makes sense that at least half the scholarship money should also go to women. This makes sense to me. I can't see any reason not to split the money fairly between male and female students, no matter the country.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Why is it that our government seeks to tax an American wage earners income to take care of people in other nations? I have nothing against Pakistani ladies but I have a real problem with politicians that want to be philanthropists with other peoples money. Charity is not a part of government, its supposed to be a part of the American individual to
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    In Pakistan, the rate of higher education enrollment for girls and women is just 9 percent, compared to the global rate of 40 percent. Less than 6 percent of women 25 and older in Pakistan attain a bachelor's degree. This is true despite the fact that economic returns for college graduates are the highest in the entire educational system--an average 17 percent increase in earnings per year of schooling. It is in our interest as Americans to ensure that the next generation of Pakistani women have the chance to get an education and provide for their families, communities and country. The U.S. already provides critical foreign assistance to Pakistani women, and since 2010, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded more than 6,000 scholarships for young women to receive higher education in Pakistan. This legislation ensures that the USAID administrator awards at least 50% of the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program to women for each of the calendar years 2020 through 2022. When Malala Yousafzai spoke to world leaders at the U.N. in 2013, she said "Let us wage a glorious struggle against illiteracy, poverty, and terrorism. Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are the most powerful weapons. Education is the only solution." This legislation will ensure that we continue to support the future generation of Malalas.
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    We shouldn’t be funding scholarships for Pakistanis.
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    No. It should go the most qualified. Period.
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    Let scholarships be based on merit
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    Funding women’s education is the quickest way to undo systemic misogyny and sexism.
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    Scholarships should be based on merit, not sex, race, or other factors.
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    We shouldn't be paying for any foreign student education. If foreign states want to use a portion of our Foreign aid packages, that's up to them. I'm sick of our tax dollars going to support foreign countries when our state and federal government has citizens living on the street, hungry children and lack luster care for our veterans.
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    This is meant to help the downtrodden, yes? Well, I imagine that Pakistani women are more downtrodden than the men. So let’s lift them up!
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    Pakistan can provide their own scholarships the US shouldn't be
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    None. What about America’s kids? Think about America before you give to non Americans.
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Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a criminal investigation of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    I think yes because it allows as many women to pursue an education that is not encouraged in their own country
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    Why does the american tax payer have to pay for the education of the people from another country. That should be the question and why the democrats waste the american peoples money
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    If you want to fund someone fund US citizens not Pakistani citizens.
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