As the Arab region goes through a transformative period, with many nations looking at approaches to diversify their economies beyond traditional industries they were once dependent on and more towards knowledge-based ones, the development of educational opportunities of women and girls has become a main focus for many. Indeed, the education of women and their successful integration into every facet of society is increasingly being seen as key to achieving a nation’s political, social and economic development. In line with this approach, beverage giant PepsiCo has announced this week the launch of a new scholarship program for young Arab women looking to pursue their higher education.
The program, which will be funded by the PepsiCo Foundation, is called “Rania Rizk Young Arab Women Leaders Scholarship Program,” launched to honor the legacy of the late Rania Rizk, who was PepsiCo’s Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel Middle East & Africa. The Foundation will partner with the UAE’s University Leadership Council (ULC) – a capacity-building and entrepreneurship hub that aims to enhance mutual collaboration and create synergies – to manage the scholarship program on an annual basis.
Nuran Al-Youssef and Fatma Al-Abdullah, two 16-year-old Saudi girls, were selected by the UAE Space Agency for an intensive scientific program related to the the famous Hope Probe and may one day grow up to lead the Arab World's space exploration journey.https://t.co/xFGrWrL24L— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) February 26, 2021
The Foundation aims to invest $150,000 this year, and the first installments of the scholarship will be for female students applying to three-year undergraduate law degrees at the renowned University of Paris II, a research university specializing in law and economics in France, and often described as the top law school in the country.
Speaking on the launch of this landmark program, CEO at PepsiCo for Africa, Middle East and South Asia, Eugene Willemsen, said, “Enabling the next generation of strong Arab women through education is a fitting tribute to Rania, who was a passionate advocate for diversity, and inclusion. Rania radiated the personal confidence and courage to voice her opinions fearlessly, at every level, and she had the style to do so in a way that not only compelled others to listen, but also, more importantly, influenced them to act.”