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Keynote Speaker

(Fatima Bhutto, born and raised in Pakistan, is an acclaimed poet, writer, columnist and journalist. With a steep family history in politics, she is also a renowned activist and has undertaken work for women’s rights and humanitarian issues, as well as broader world politics. An accomplished and highly intelligent public speaker, Bhutto delivers speeches which are entertaining and inspiring and she speaks on a variety of topics, from her personal experiences to wider current affairs.

The granddaughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, niece of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and daughter of Murtaza Bhutto, Fatima has a long family background in politics in Pakistan.

Born in 1982, her parents divorced when she was three years old and her father took her from country to country as he was in exile due to his political activism. Following her father’s death in 1996, Bhutto went on to complete a degree in Middle Eastern studies at Columbia University before completing a Masters in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

She first came to the public eye herself after the publication of her first book Whispers of the Desert, a collection of poems. Since then, she has written for many international publications, including Jang, Pakistan’s largest Urdu newspaper, The News, its English sister paper, Vogue and The Guardian.

Remaining active in Pakistan’s socio-political arena, but preferring to do so through her activism and writing rather than elected office, she is not affiliated with any political party and, instead, has worked with many charities and organisations. She has conducted a vast amount of work for women’s empowerment charities, supported Karachi’s slum populations and campaigned against press restrictions.

Aside from her role as a journalist and activist, Fatima Bhutto has written and published four highly acclaimed books. In addition to Whispers of the Desert, she also released 8.50am 8 October 2005, which recorded personal accounts of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, published a memoir, Songs of Blood and Sword in 2010 and her fiction debut, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon, was released in November, 2013.
Fatima Bhutto’s extraordinary life and career has led her to being invited to speak on a huge range of issues around the world. A highly accomplished speaker, she is both entertaining and inspiring.

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Fatima Bhutto was fantastic. A number of delegates congratulated me on choosing her partly because she was so good – but also she has a unique story and perspective. She was the absolute highlight.”

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