The Women in Time’s Most Influential List 2011: Maria Bashir

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Again, Maria Bashir is not a name I recognize immediately, but let’s take a look before I make a decision on whether I think she is influential or not.

  • She is a prosecutor in Afghanistan, focuses especially on cases of violence against women.
  • She couldn’t work under the Taliban so she took to schooling girls in her house. Illegally.
  • She has been a hard voice of dissent to the Afghan government’s practices, especially those that restrict women.
  • She has been honor with the International Women of Courage Award by the US government.
  • She has faced assassination attempts.

From http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2066367_2066369_2066487,00.html

I definitely think she is influential for a bunch of reasons. First of all, she is giving other women in Afghanistan someone to look up to. Women in Afghanistan need many things to be empowered, but one part of the picture is having positive female role models, so that women and girls have something to aspire to. Maria is providing that. Second, she illegally taught girls during the reign of the Taliban. This makes her influential because these girls will go on to have better lives because they have an education. Those girls have been directly influenced. Third, she is helping to ensure the enforcement of laws. This will directly help Afghanistan to become a better place for women and children. She has been highly influential in this area. And not that I would say this is a true way to measure influence, but she has faced multiple assassination attempts and has guards who protect her. Generally, only people who have enough power to change things face these kind of circumstances. If there weren’t people who thought she was making a difference in Afghanistan, then they wouldn’t try to kill her. So I think she is definitely influential. What are your thoughts? Do you think Maria Bashir is influential or do you disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

Sources:

Other influential women from Time’s Most Influential List 2011 that I profiled include Major General Margaret WoodwardMia Wasikowska, Esther Duflo, Felisa Wolfe-Simon, Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton, Blake Lively, Kate Middleton, Michele Bachmann, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Dilma Rousseff, Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Giffords, Aung San Suu Kyi, Kim Clijisters, Jennifer Egan, Amy Chua, Angela Merkel, Lisa Jackson, and Amy Poehler.

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