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Shirin Sharmin named as first woman speaker

Staff Correspondent

Shirin Sharmin ChowdhuryShirin Sharmin Chowdhury

The Awami League parliamentary party on Monday nominated state minister for women and children affairs Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury for the office of parliament speaker, which fell vacant when Abdul Hamid took over as the country’s 20th president.
Retired colonel Shawkat Ali, now given the charge of acting speaker, will continue as the deputy speaker.
A meeting of the AL parliamentary party, held at the Jatiya Sangsad with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, took the decision unanimously, AL presidium member Matia Chowdhury told newspersons.
‘The ALPP has decided unanimously that Shirin Sharmin is our speaker,’ Matia said.
AL general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam proposed the name of Shirin and presidium member Abdul Latif Siddique seconded it.   
Parliament officials said the new speaker would take oath today.
Shirin would become the first woman speaker of Bangladesh.
Earlier on April 28, prime minister Sheikh Hasina at a parliamentary board meeting expressed her desire to see a woman as the speaker.
After that meeting, AL general secretary and LGRD minister Syed Ashraful Islam told reporters that the party would take a decision about the next speaker of parliament at the ALPP meeting.
Shirin, the international affairs secretary of the Awami League, was elected to one of the reserved seats for women in the parliament.
Shirin Sharmin was born in Dhaka on October 6, 1966. Her father the late Rafiqullah Chowdhury was a personal secretary and close associate of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Her mother the late professor Naiyer Sultana was an educationist who held important positions like the principal of Dhaka College, director general of Secondary and Higher Education, and a member of the Public Service Commission.
Her husband, Syed Ishtiaque Hossain, is a pharmaceutical consultant.
Shirin passed her SSC examinations under the Dhaka Education Board topping the merit list in 1983.
She completed her higher secondary schooling in 1985, securing the second position on the integrated merit list of all groups.
Shirin obtained a first class first LLB (Honours) degree from Dhaka University in 1989 and an LLM degree from the same university in 1990.
She did her PhD on human rights and constitutional laws – Right to Life – at Essex University in the United Kingdom in 2000.
Shirin became a member of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association and the Dhaka Bar Association in 2000 and was elected the editor of Bangladesh Bar Council Legal Division in 2003. She became a member of the Bangladesh Nari Samaj (women’s coalition) in 2007. 

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