Huma Zia’s approach
Although Huma’s mother wasn’t able to complete her education, she wanted her daughters to complete theirs and helped Huma and her sisters go to school despite criticism and family pressure. Inspired by her mother’s example, Huma has spent the last seven years championing girls’ education across Pakistan. As programmes lead at Pak Alliance for Maths and Science Welfare Trust (PAMS), she helps marginalised students — including girls, children with disabilities and students from low-income communities — go to school and study math and science.
With her Malala Fund grant, Huma leads a national advocacy campaign asking provincial governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to allocate at least 20% of their total budgets to education, build 10% more girls’ middle and high schools, address the shortage of STEM teachers in post-primary government girls’ schools and guarantee children with disabilities the right to education. Through media campaigns and conventions, she rallies support to convince provincial officials to support girls’ education. Huma also organises training sessions for teachers, so they can better support students with disabilities.