Resources for Teachers and Students on Benazir Bhutto
Prepare: In 1988, Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as
the prime minister of Pakistan, making her the first woman
head of government of an Islamic state in modern times.
She is currently the chairperson of the Pakistan People's
Party, PPP. Her official
biography can be found on the PPP website.
Benazir Bhutto wrote an
original essay for the Architects of Peace project.
In it, she discusses the unique contribution women leaders
can contribute to the peacemaking process.
Explore: Benazir Bhutto has been one of the most
controversial politicians of modern times, and yet remains
enormously popular in Pakistan, from which, as of this writing,
she is still self-exiled and faces charges of corruption
by the military government currently in power. Despite the
controversies, which may never be resolved, her accomplishments
as a woman in a Moslem society are remarkable. As part of
its "Women in Power" series, the BBC
website has an interactive essay on her accomplishments.
Write: In her Architects of Peace essay, Benazir
Bhutto claims that, for her, peace has been a process of
"resolving a struggle between the sexes." How
much is gender a dynamic of conflict resolution? Is there
an inherent difference in how men and women might go about
peacemaking? Are there socially constructed assumptions
about masculinity and femininity that either enhance or
obstruct peacemaking?Can the resolution of struggle between
the sexes become a paradigm for resolving struggles between
nations? Write a three-to-five
page reflective essay on these questions and conclude by
proposing a possible hypothesis for further research.
Extend: A core element of the PPP manifesto is that
people have a right to be free of hunger and want. Pakistan's
population, however, grows at a 2.6% annual rate, which
means that it doubles every 36 years, having grown from
32 million in 1947 to 132 million in 1997. It could easily
reach 260 million by 2035. The United
Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, currently involved in
a special partnership with Pakistan, feels that a crucial
element of stabilizing the population is to address the
"gender imbalance" in such areas as the literacy
rate of women.
Biography of Benazir
Reflections on Working Towards Peace