Power failure: The political odyssey of a Pakistani woman

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Minister in the Nawaz Sharif government in the 1990s, and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States from 1991-1994, Syeda Abida Hussain has detailed 40 years of experience in a recently published book.

In Power Failure: The Political Odyssey of a Pakistani Woman, published by Oxford University Press in 2015, Syeda Abida Hussain outlines the impacts that key political events in Pakistan have had on her personal life — and on the destiny of the nation. It is a political autobiography which gives an insider view into the tumultuous political events in Pakistan from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s rule from the early 1970s to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Syeda Abida Hussain is a politician, agriculturist, and diplomat. She belongs to Jhang, situated in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Abida Hussain has the distinction of being the first woman to chair the District Council of Jhang; and the first woman to be popularly elected as Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. She served as Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States from 1991 to 1994. She has also served as Minister for Education, Science and Technology (1996), Minister for Food and Agriculture (1997), Minister for Population Welfare, and as Minister for Environment and Urban Affairs (1999). Abida Hussain is an active proponent of 'Education for All', gender equality, and sectarian harmony.