After attending both public and private schools as a student in Pakistan, Zehra recognised the stark difference in quality between the two systems. Public schools often have outdated curricula and face shortages of books and qualified teachers. While private schools offer better education, they come at a higher cost that most people can’t afford. Zehra became an education activist to address these injustices and ensure that every Pakistani girl has access to 12 years of quality education.
As the executive director of the Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) and a Malala Fund Education Champion, Zehra advocates for an amendment to Pakistan’s constitution that would increase the national requirement for free, quality, equitable education from 10 to 12 years. To support the campaign, PCE collects statistical evidence on gender gaps in education, engages with policymakers, conducts media outreach and trains young women to speak out for themselves in support of the amendment.