Letter to Congress Regarding Educational Opportunities for Women and Girls in Pakistan, July 14, 2020
July 14, 2020
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
On behalf of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), I want to express my support for HR 4508, a bill that would provide educational opportunities for girls and women in Pakistan. Under the Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program conducted by the U.S. Agency for International Development, I understand the bill would ensure that fifty percent of the scholarships go to girls and women, including those from marginalized communities, regardless of ethnicity or religion. As HR 4508 rightly points out, education of women and girls is greatly beneficial to society as a whole.
Pope Francis, in a February 20, 2020 address to those attending the Plenary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said, “Education is a dynamic reality” that brings the individual knowledge of themselves and the common home shared by humanity. Calling education an inclusive and peacemaking movement, the Holy Father went on to say that education helped “to form mature people, capable of overcoming fragmentation and opposition and rebuilding the fabric of relationships for a more fraternal humanity.” In the spirit of this vision of education laid out by Pope Francis, I offer my support for HR 4508 as educating girls and women would allow them to more actively participate in society, contributing to the economic and social growth of Pakistan.
The Most Reverend David J. Malloy
Bishop of Rockford
Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace