As her third term as Prime Minister comes to a close, Sheikh Hasina Wazed is on a state visit to India. The proud daughter of the first President of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina has spent four decades in Bangladeshi politics.
We bring you 10 facts from this indomitable leader’s life:
1. Hasina ranks 36th on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2016 Edition)
2. During the peak of violence in Bangladesh at the time of the 1970 elections when her father was arrested, she had to live in refuge with her grandmother.
3. On August 15, 1975, her father, mother, and three brothers were assassinated at their home by military officers. Following this, she was not allowed to return to the country until 1981 when she was elected to lead the Awami League Party.
4. After joining active politics, Hasina became a major advocate of democracy. As a result of her outspoken nature, she has been placed under house arrest on numerous occasions.
5. Sheikh Hasina Wazed’s first term as prime minister of Bangladesh was from 1996 till 2001. She became the first Bangladeshi Prime Minister to complete the entire term since its independence.
6. Signing the ‘Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord’ in December 1997 is the most significant move of her career. The treaty was an agreement between the government and the ‘Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti’ (a political organisation armed with a militia), ending decades of violence and hostility between the government and the tribes of the region.
7. She had to face a major crisis during the Bangladesh Rifles revolt in 2009. This was a mutiny staged in Dhaka by a section of the BDR, a paramilitary force guarding the borders of the country. It was only after a series of discussions and negotiations with the government that the mutineers surrendered.
8. She is a big proponent of women and children’s rights and has been instrumental in giving Bangladeshi women a voice in the country’s politics.
9. In 2014, she received the UNESCO Peace Tree award for her commitment to women’s empowerment and girl’s education.
10. She has been awarded the Planet 50-50 Champion award by UN-Women in 2016.
Pic Credit: India Today