Pakistan pays families to send girls to school, marks 'Malala Day'

Featured - November 12th, 2012

Pakistan’s government announced that it would pay stipends to poor families if they send their children to school. The announcement marks a special day in honor of children’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, after she was shot by the Taliban for speaking out against the insurgency.

The attack on the 15-year old immediately drew international condemnation while world leaders pledged to support her advocacy for girls’ education. President Asif Zardari signed a petition urging the government to offer cash stipends to families who send their daughters to school to coincide with “Malala Day” on November 10, as declared by United Nations officials.

Poor families will now receive $2 a month for every child in primary school under the program. Funding comes from the World Bank as well as Britain and will be distributed through the government’s Benazir Income Support Program, Reuters reports.

“Malala’s dreams represent what is best about Pakistan,” said former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he presented the petition to President Zardari on Friday.

This comes as tens of thousands of Britons have campaigned for Malala’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is currently recovering in a hospital in Birmingham, England.