Who is She? Aung San Suu Kyi is a non-violent activist, politician, and diplomat who co-founded the National League of Democracy and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. She is the daughter of Aung San, the man who liberated Burma (now Myanmar) from British rule, and Khin Kyi, who was the Burmese ambassador to India and the first woman to lead a Burmese diplomatic mission. Suu Kyi is the first woman to serve in 4 different minister positions in Myanmar’s government, and she is currently the country’s Foreign Minister and State Counsellor, a new position in the Myanmar government similar to Prime Minister or President.
What did She do? After spending most of her life abroad, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Myanmar to fight against multiple the human rights violations of the military government. The Burma Socialist Programme Party, which took power after her father’s assassination, led Myanmar to become the poorest, most isolated, and most corrupt country in the world. Even when this party was overthrown in 1988, a new military regime took over. Suu Kyi quickly became a well known advocate for democracy and was held under house arrest as a political prisoner from 1989-2010. In 2015, the National League of Democracy -- the political party Suu Kyi helped create -- won the general election, making Suu Kyi the leader of Myanmar.
Why does She matter? Aung San Suu Kyi used her famous lineage to show the world the injustices happening in Burma. Her work empowered her people to resist oppression and set higher standards for political leaders. Despite violent threats and imprisonment, Suu Kyi maintained her peaceful, pro-democratic message, inspiring Myanmar and countries around the world to keep fighting for justice and reform.