Begum Khaleda Zia: Prime Minister, Bangladesh, 1991-1996 and 2001-2006
Begum Khaleda Zia served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996 and then again from 2001 to 2006. She was the first woman Prime Minister of her country, and second woman Prime Minister in the Muslim world. Begum Khaleda Zia is the widow of assassinated President Ziaur Rahman. Since his death, she has lead his old party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. In 1982, Khaleda Zia helped lead the Bangladeshi movement for democracy and became Prime Minister in the 1991 election. In 2006 she was ranked by Forbes as the 33th most powerful women in the world. The government of Khaleda Zia made tangible progress in empowering huge numbers of rural womenfolk in the countryside, as well as achieving major reforms in education, including the introduction of free and compulsory primary education, tuition-free education for girls up to ten years old, stipends for female students, and the Food for Education.