Bangladesh gets first woman speaker

Dhaka, April 30 (IANS) Bangladesh’s parliament Tuesday elected Shrin Sharmin Chowdhury, currently the state minister for women and child affairs, as its first woman and youngest speaker.

Chowdhury was elected by lawmakers unanimously as the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, is boycotting parliament, reported Xinhua.

In an unprecedented move, the ruling Awami League (AL) Monday night nominated Chowdhury for the post of speaker. She is also the international secretary of AL.

Chowdhury, 47, who has a doctorate in law, entered parliament for the first time as an MP from one of the reserved seats for women. Bangladesh parliament has 50 reserved seats for women, who can also contest general seats.

Her appointment is the first of its kind from MP elected from reserved seats to the top parliamentary post.

The post of speaker fell vacant as Speaker Abdul Hamid became president on April 24 following the death of incumbent Zillur Rahman.

Born on Oct 6, 1966, Chowdhury did her PhD from Essex University in Britain.

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