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Forbes: The Most Powerful Women in Politics 2012

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8. Aung San Suu Kyi

While Aung San Suu Kyi resists being called an icon, it's easy to see why the leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement has been internationally regarded as such in 2012. Less than two years after being released from nearly two decades under house arrest, Suu Kyi was elected to Burma's parliament in an election where Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy took 43 of 45 open seats. In June, Suu Kyi was finally able to deliver her acceptance speech for her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, part of the same European tour in which she became the first women other than the Queen to address both houses of the British parliament. Suu Kyi has been an international pro-democracy figure since founding the National League of Democracy in 1988, leading nonviolent resistance against Burma's military junta. After the NLD swept Burmese elections in 1990, Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest instead of assuming the position of Prime Minister, with the election's results nullified. International attention remained on Suu Kyi's through her imprisonment, exerting pressure on Burma for her release and democratic elections, and continues to buzz today as she travels the world today.
(AP Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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