Marriages of women leaders are more in focus than the marriages of male leaders due to gender bias. Often husbands become the punching bags for those who oppose women leaders. More-over, it is a big challenge for the spouses of women leaders in traditional societies to live in the shadow of their wives.
In my marriage, the challenges we faced were greater. My husband, Asif Zardari, was held hostage to my political career. Attempts were made to force me to quit politics by unjustly holding him in prison. That we were both young when I first became prime minister meant that there was greater public interest and media scrutiny.
The historical precedent has been that the spouses of male leaders looked after the home. I believe that society, whether in Pakistan or elsewhere, has found it difficult to adjust to the spouse of a female leader because such spouses inevitably have careers of their own.
Almost 20 years after my...