Women Who Rock: Benazir Bhutto

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

BENAZIR BHUTTO (1953-2007)

Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953 in Karachi, Pakistan. Her parents were well known politicians — her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was a former prime minister. Bhutto was educated at Harvard and Oxford, studying government and law. She was the first woman to lead Pakistan as a prime minister, serving two terms as leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party. She was only 35 when she was elected to her first term, breaking barriers not only as a woman, but also as being the first woman to lead a Muslim-dominated country.Her work speaking out against discrimination against women led to cultural changes regarding the status of women in her native Pakistan. She planned to institute massive employment changes for women as prime minister, including the creation of some woman-only positions. She also actively worked toward modernization of Pakistan through her policies.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Dec. 27, 2007, just days before she would have run for election to Pakistan’s parliament. She stood up for her values and ideals, and worked tirelessly to see her country improve. It was a cause she ultimately payed for with her life.

Further Reading:

  • Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West by Benazir Bhutto
  • Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography by Benazir Bhutto
  • BenazirBhutto.org
  • L.A. Times: “One year later, Pakistanis remember Benazir Bhutto”
  • BBC NEWS: Benazir Bhutto Obituary