Phenomenal Women – Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi holds the record for being the first and only Prime Minister of India, A respected and trail-blazing politician she held office on two occasions making her achievement even more notable.  Her first term ran from 1966 to 1977 and then she was in office from 1980 until 1984 when she was assassinated.

As a female premier Gandhi bucked the trend by being known for her ruthless determination and her strength of character.  She initiated war against Pakistan and was instrumental in the creation of “Bangladesh.”  Although many people found her approach controversial and didn’t agree she is no doubt one of the most influential and most powerful women in politics to date.

Such was the strength of feeling against her that she was assassinated by her own bodyguards in an apparent coup.  Notably, despite her famous name, she is not related to political activist Mahatma Gandhi.



Phenomenal Women – Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto was twice elected to be Pakistani Prime Minister, first in 1988 and again in 1993.  Not only was she the first female Prime Minister in her native Pakistan but she was also the first woman to be head of a democratic Muslim nation.  Her achievements are even more notable because of the time during which she achieved them.  In recent times we have seen more acceptance for female heads of states, but years ago the battle was even harder.

As we near International Women’s Day we thought that a female political pioneer was a fitting profile to include in our Phenomenal Women series especially because as an accomplished and educated woman she proves one of the fundamental principles that Women of Kaieteur was built on.  “Education is key, with education doors will always open for progression”  We want every woman and girl to remember that the key to their success lies in education, both formally and informally.  Statistically, a woman who is skilled and/or educated will have an impact on so many lives including her own, her family and the community to which she belongs.

We particularly liked this quote from her demonstrating the strength of a woman:

“Being nice should never be perceived as being weak.  It’s not a sign of weakness,, its a sign of courtesy, manners, grace, a woman’s ability to make everyone ….. feel at home, and it should never be construed as a weakness.”