The 47-year old professional lawyer succeeds Abdul Hamid who
was elected President last week following the death of Md Zillur
Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali put the resolution to voice vote
during Tuesday’s parliament session and Chaudhury was supported
In a surprise move, the ruling Awami League on Monday night
nominated her for the post.
It is an unique moment in Bangladesh's
history with women holding the positions of Prime Minister, Leader of the
Opposition, Deputy Leader of Parliament, several key ministers and now the
Speaker of Parliament.
The speakers of Indian and Pakistani parliament at
the moment are also women.
Chaudhury entered Parliament, after a
brilliant academic career, for the first time as an MP from one of the seats
reserved for women.
This is the first time Bangladesh has a Speaker
elected from one of reserved seats for women.
Now she has to relinquish
her ministerial position.
The Speaker’s office in Parliament had been
lying vacant since former Speaker Abdul Hamid was sworn-in as President on Apr
Deputy Speaker Ali became the acting Speaker when Hamid took over as
Acting President on Mar 14.
Shirin Sharmin's father Rafiqullah Chaudhury
was the Personal Secretary of Bangladesh's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh
Her mother Professor Naiyer Sultana was a Member of
Public Service Commission and her grandfather a judge in the erstwhile East
Pakistan High Court.
She topped her SSC in Humanities from the Dhaka
Education Board in 1983 and stood second in the HSC exams from the same board in
In 1989, she stood first class first in her LLB (Honours)
examination from the Dhaka University, clearing the LLM a year later with
On a Commonwealth Scholarship, she completed her PhD on
human rights and constitutional laws – ‘Right to Life’ – from Essex University
in the United Kingdom in 2000.
She enrolled at the Bar Council in 1992
and with the High Court two years later. In 2008, she was enrolled with the
Chaudhury became a member of the Bangladesh Supreme
Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Dhaka Bar Association in 2000.
elected Editor of Bangladesh Bar Council Legal Division in 2003. She became a
member of Bangladesh Nari Samaj (Women's Coalition) in 2007.
army-backed caretaker government in 2007-08, she was in the lawyers’ panel that
represented Hasina in the cases filed against her.
In 2009, she was
elected as a syndicate member of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical
The International Affairs Secretary of the Awami
League, she was elected MP from a parliament seat reserved for women on March
The ‘Women Development Policy’ was passed in Parliament during
her term as a State Minister.
She has a son and a daughter with Syed
Ishtiaque Hossain who is a pharmaceutical consultant.