H.R. 3583, Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act

H.R. 3583

Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act

Date
November 19, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 3583, the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, as amended, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 3583 was introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on November 21, 2013 and was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  The bill was marked up on April 3, 2014 and was ordered reported, as amended, by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3583 expands the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women under the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program.  Specifically, H.R. 3583 directs the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to award to Pakistani women at least fifty-percent of the scholarships given under the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program.  USAID must brief Congress within one year of the bill’s enactment and annually for the following three years on the bill’s implementation, including the number of scholarships awarded, broken down by gender; the disciplines of study chosen by recipients; a breakdown of the number pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively; the percentage of recipients who dropped out voluntarily or failed to meet program requirements; and the percentage of recipients who dropped out due to retaliation for seeking an education.

Background

On October 9, 2012, the Pakistan Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai for writing a blog that advocated for access to education for girls and women.[1]  The group called her work an “obscenity.”[2]  Malala recovered and celebrated her sixteenth birthday in July of 2013 by delivering a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on the power of education.[3]  In October of 2014, Malala became a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”[4]

According to a 2012 U.N. report, “Pakistan has the second largest number of children out of school [in the world] and nearly half of those living in rural areas have never been to school.[5]  It has been found that education for women can improve the well being of the broader society by improving health conditions, increasing educational opportunities and health care for their children, and lifting households out of poverty.[6]  “The Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship

Program administered by [USAID] awards scholarships to academically talented, financially needy Pakistani students from all regions, including remote areas of the country, to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees at participating Pakistani universities.”[7]  Fifty percent of the scholarships were awarded to women in 2013, up from twenty-five percent historically.[8]

__________
[1] H.R. 3583.
[2] Id.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6]  Id.
[7] Id.
[8] Id.

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 3583 would not impact the federal budget.  The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.