Shirin to become first woman Speaker

The Awami League has nominated State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury to run for Speaker of Parliament.

Published : 29 April 2013, 10:05 AM
Updated : 29 April 2013, 03:48 PM

The Awami League Parliamentary Party declared her nomination at a meeting on Monday night, Presidium Member Matia Chowdhury told reporters.

The ruling party’s President Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting held at her official Ganabhaban residence.

Chaudhury’s nomination paves way for Bangladesh to have its first-ever woman and the youngest Speaker at 46 years of age.

The Awami League-led alliance’s three-fourth majority in Parliament means her election is all but guaranteed even if the polls are contested by the opposition.

The office fell vacant as the then Speaker Abdul Hamid had to take over as the Acting President following the death of President Zillur Rahman.
Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali is currently discharging duties as the Acting Speaker.
Chaudhury, the International Affairs Secretary of the Awami League, was elected MP from one of the parliamentary seats reserved for women on March 24, 2009.
She was one of the members of the lawyers’ panel to conduct the cases filed against Hasina during the army-backed caretaker government in 2007-08.
Chaudhury was born in Dhaka on October 6, 1966. Her father Rafiqullah Chaudhury was a personal secretary and a close associate of independence leader and former Prime Minister Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Her mother late Professor Naiyer Sultana was an educationist who held important positions like Principal of Dhaka College, Director General of Secondary and Higher Education and a Member of Public Service Commission.
Chaudhury passed her SSC in Humanities from Dhaka Education Board topping the merit list in 1983. She completed her HSC from the same board in 1985 securing second position in the integrated merit list of all groups.
Shirin came out first class first in her LLB (Honours) examination from Dhaka University in 1989 and passed her LLM with distinction from the same university in 1990.
On a Commonwealth Scholarship, she did her PhD on human rights and constitutional laws – ‘Right to Life’ – from Essex University in the United Kingdom in 2000.
Chaudhury became a member of Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Dhaka Bar Association in 2000 and was elected Editor of Bangladesh Bar Council Legal Division in 2003. She became a member of Bangladesh Nari Samaj (Women's Coalition) in 2007.
In 2008, she became a member of the sub-committee of Bangladesh Bar Council Legal Education and a member of the executive committee of Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs.
In 2009, she was elected as a syndicate member of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University (BSMMU).
Chaudhury has a son and a daughter with Syed Ishtiaque Hossain who is a pharmaceutical consultant.
Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher