Benazir Bhutto

Prime Minister of Pakistan

On December 2, 1988 Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islamic State. In the preceding decade of political struggle, Ms. Bhutto was arrested on numerous occasions; in all she spent nearly 6 years either in prison or under detention for her dedicated leadership of the then opposition Pakistan Peoples Party. Throughout the years in opposition, she pledged to transform Pakistani society by focusing attention on programs for health, social welfare and education for the underprivileged. Since assuming the office of Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto has emphasized the need to heal past wounds and to put an end to the divisions in Pakistani society - including reducing discrimination between men and women. Ms. Bhutto has launched a nationwide program of health and education reform. Benazir Bhutto was born in Karachi in 1953. After completing her early education in Pakistan, she attended Radcliffe College and Oxford University. As well as obtaining a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, she also completed a course in International Law and Diplomacy at Oxford. Ms. Bhutto is the author of "Foreign Policy in Perspective" (1978) and her autobiography, "Daughter of Destiny" (1989). She received the Bruno Kreisky Award for Human Rights in 1988 and the Honorary Phi Beta Kappa Award from Radcliffe in 1989. Benazir Bhutto is a woman of courage and conviction and we are proud to acknowledge her with the International Leadership Award.

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