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Scholarship success for women in Pakistan

Published: 5 Mar 2016 13:21
Part of:

£150,000 funding to help 207 women into education.

Young Pakistani women from poor backgrounds will have the chance of a university education, thanks to a Scottish Government scholarship programme, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

This is the third year the Scottish Government, in collaboration with the British Council, has funded the £150,000 Scottish Scholarship Scheme for Women in Pakistan to enable young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to study Masters courses in education, health, food security and agriculture, and sustainable energy.

Announcing the funding at the Scottish Women's Convention Annual International Women's Day event, the First Minister said:

"We often take for granted that in Scotland we have an excellent education system that is free and open to all. Unfortunately, in countries like Pakistan young women do not always have the chance to further their education. We all remember the courage and determination that Malala Yousafzai showed when she stood up for girls' education.

"Malala highlighted some of the challenges many girls and women in Pakistan face.

"Young people are the future, and we all have a part to play in giving them a chance to thrive, grow and reach their full potential and making them realise that dreams can turn to reality.

"These scholarships will help disadvantaged women in Pakistan get the financial support needed to complete their studies, secure a more prosperous future and better support their families and communities.

"Since the scheme began we have supported over 400 girls and women throughout Pakistan to improve their lives through education.

"A good education will empower girls and women to allow them the freedom to make their own choices, shape their own future and build a more inclusive community."

Jim Booth, Deputy Director and Director Programmes, British Council Pakistan said:

"We have long supported programmes that transform the lives of young people through education. Working in partnership with the Scottish Government, we are proud to deliver the Pakistan Scottish Scholarship Scheme for Women in Higher Education. Over the last two years more than four hundred scholarships have been awarded, making a difference to the lives of hundreds of women, benefiting their families and their communities. It's a change for the better, helping to create positive links with Scotland, and we are privileged to be part of it. British Council values this partnership with the Scottish Government and hopes to continue this great work into the future."

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government has published its Pakistan Engagement Strategy this week. The strategy sets out our ambitions in developing Scotland's relationship with Pakistan. It reflects some of Pakistan's priorities, matched with Scotland's expertise, identifying opportunities for collaboration for the mutual benefit of both countries.

A full version of the First Minister's speech can be read at: