Benazir Bhutto is the face of sexism against women around the globe. Benazir is a woman who stood up for women in her country, and faced the misogynistic consequences. She was the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan, serving two times (one from 1988-90, the other from 1993-96). She was the oldest daughter of a former Prime Minister, who founded the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Bhutto was the absolute first woman to be democratically elected to be the leader of any Muslim country in the world. Three years following her father’s execution in 1979, Benazir rose in the ranks of the PPP and became chairperson of the party. She remains the only woman to have ever headed Pakistan’s government.
Bhutto was known for her charismatic authority, and she drove for Pakistan’s national and economic security. She implemented capitalistic tendencies that promoted industrial growth and development. Other policies favored deregulation, flexible labor markets, the denationalisation of state-owned corporations, and the withdrawal of subsidies to others. Her reign was admit high levels of corruption in organizations, as well as high unemployment, so the woman’s hard work was constantly dismissed in favor of men’s accomplishments. Since she was unforgiving of her values in her work, she was known as the “Iron Lady” in India. She was unfairly accused of corruption in 1996, so-exiled-she fled to Dubai. In 2007, she returned to Pakistan, having come to an agreement with the president. At a PPP rally on December 27, 2007, she was assassinated by a bombing. She was the leading candidate at the time for the polls for Prime Minister, and it seems as if someone was not too fond of the idea.
Her entire time in office, Benazir promised and promoted to repeal controversial laws that curtailed women’s rights in Pakistan. She was the founder of the Council of Women World Leaders. It must have been hard in a place like Pakistan to speak outright about the rights of women, and be under so much scrutinization. But Bhutto took it in stride, and despite all the threats and disgust thrown towards her from men and misogynists, she prevailed twice. Benazir Bhutto was an iconic figure for little Muslim girls who constantly face oppression from boys and men, and for women all over the world.
Title from “Femme Fatale” by The Velvet Underground.