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Bangladesh likely to see highest ever number of female MPs

  • Published at 07:24 pm January 1st, 2019
WEB_Female lawmakers
Clockwise from top left, Sheikh Hasina, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Sajeda Chowdhury, Matia Chowdhury, Sahara Khatun, Dipu Moni, Monnuzan Sufian, Ismat Ara Sadique, Simeen Hussain Rimi, Ayesha Ferdaus, Rowshan Earshad, Selima Ahmad, Momotaz Begom, Shirin Akhter, Sagufta Yasmin, Meher Afroze Chumki and Mahbub Ara Gini Dhaka Tribune

The 11th parliament will boast 22 female MPs

A total of 22 female contestants—the highest number ever in the parliamentary history of Bangladesh—are soon going to take their oath as lawmakers in the 11th parliament.

Among them, 19 are from ruling Awami League, two from Jatiya Party (JaPa), and one from Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD).

Out of the 22, only two are new—Shahin Akhter from Cox's Bazar 4 and Selima Ahmad from Comilla 2—while the rest were also lawmakers in the 10th parliament.

Shahin Akhter is the wife of Awami League lawmaker Abdur Rahman Badi; while Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) President Selima Ahmad is the wife of former FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad.

Some prominent faces securing victory in 11th parliamentary election include: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, JaPa leader Rowshan Ershad, and Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury.

The current lawmakers on the list include: Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, State Minister for Public Administration Ismat Ara Sadique, and State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki.

Former Posts & Telecommunications, and Home minister advocate Sahara Khatun, former foreign minister Dipu Moni, and former state minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnuzan Sufian are also in the list of 11th parliamentary election winners. 

For the 11th general election, parties earlier nominated only a handful of women while fielding more than 1,800 candidates.

Among the major parties, Awami League nominated only 19 women among its 258 candidates for the upcoming polls, while its coalition partner, Jatiya Party, nominated only two out of 173; and its partner Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal only 1. 

BNP, along with the 20-Party Alliance and Jatiya Oikya Front, nominated only 16 female candidates for 300 seats. 

It was similar in the 8th and 9th parliamentary elections held in 2001 and 2008; a total of 39 women contested the polls in 2001, and 59 in 2008.

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