ISLAMABAD: A new annual scholarship, honouring the legacy of late Asma Jahangir was announced on Thursday by the British High Commission. This scholarship will be awarded to the best female Chevening candidate each year, following the scheme’s rigorous selection process.
Jahangir, one of Pakistan's most prominent rights activists, had passed away in a Lahore hospital on February 11.
The Chevening scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year Masters programme at any United Kingdom university.
The scholarship programme provides a unique opportunity to future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, to build networks, to experience UK culture, and to form lasting positive relationships with the UK.
In 2017, Chevening sent 63 Pakistanis, including 23 women, to top universities across the UK.
The recipient of the inaugural award will be announced in August.
Announcing the new scholarship, British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said:
Open Society Foundations to announce Asma Jahangir scholarship on human rights
“I am delighted to announce that Asma Jahangir’s family has agreed to the creation of a scholarship in her name as part of our prestigious Chevening Programme. It is particularly appropriate to be able to announce the award, which will each year go to the top female Chevening candidate, on International Women’s Day.
“For decades Asma Jahangir was a courageous defender of Pakistan’s most vulnerable citizens. She was also a powerful advocate for the rights of women. This scholarship honours her achievements.
“Women across Pakistan, as they are around the world, are underrepresented in politics, in leadership positions and across society. We hope that this scholarship inspires future generations of Pakistani women by giving them a platform to realise their potential – helping in turn realise the great potential of their country. As the founder of the country, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, said, ‘No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you’.”
Speaking about the announcement, Asma Jahangir’s daughter, Sulema Jahangir said that her mother believed passionately in the importance of higher education.
“We welcome the British High Commission’s naming of one of its Chevening Scholarships as a fitting tribute to our mother and her life time’s work,”
The Chevening alumni consist of over 1,600 professionals including senior journalists, civil servants, politicians and other members of society from all walks of life.