Notable Women in Pakistan (Part 1)

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Hello readers! A lot of stereotypes have been generated in the last few decades about women in Pakistan, and other Muslim countries. We at Barakat would like to make you aware of Pakistani women who have really stood up for themselves and their beliefs, have become leaders in their respective professions, leaders of the communities, and positive influences for other women in their home country and all over the world.

Benazir Bhutto was the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988-1990 in her first term and 1993-1996. She was the first democratically elected female leader of a Muslim country. Benazir was born into a political family – her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was Prime Minister, and was removed from his leadership position in a military coup in 1977. Benazir attended the prestigious Radcliffe College at Harvard University, where she studied comparative government. Benazir continued to fight for her beliefs and her party even when she was in exile in the 2000s, and her persistence became very apparent when she returned to Karachi in 2007, to prepare for the 2008 national elections. Benazir was killed on the 27th of December 2007, while she was leaving a campaign rally.

Malala Yousafzai was born on the 12th of July 1997 and hails from Swat, Pakistan. She harnessed public attention when she was shot by a Taliban gunman for her role as a social activist promoting female education. Yousafzai is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate and continues to spread awareness for education, especially for women, in Swat valley, where women were unable to go to school, due to the Taliban’s influence. At the young age of 19, Malala has co-written her memoir, received dozens of awards for her bravery and leadership, and founded the Malala Fund. The Malala Fund works to secure a girls’ right to quality education.

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