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
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.