Sheikh Hasina

Born:September 28, 1947 (age 76)
Career:Prime minister of Bangladesh, 1996-2001 and 2009-present
Party:Bangladesh Awami League Grand Alliance
Education:University of Dhaka

Sheikh Hasina first became Bangladesh's prime minister in June 1996, serving until 2001, and then again assumed office January 2009. Hasina was awarded UNESCO's Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize in 1998 for her contribution to bringing peace through ending the 25 years of conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Hasina was born on September 28, 1947, in Tungipara, Bangladesh. In 1968, she married M. A. Wazed Miah. She graduated from the University of Dhaka in 1973. Scion of a political family, she was actively involved in student politics in her college days. She was elected as the chief of the Student's Union of Eden Girls College, the leading women's college in Bangladesh. She was a member of the student's league (Chhatra League) of Dhaka University and the secretary of the Chhatra League in Rokeya Hall. She was also the president of Eden Intermediate Girls College Chhatra League. Hasina actively participated in the mass upsurge of 1969 and at the time of the Liberation War of 1971, she was imprisoned by the Pakistani occupation army along with her husband, mother, sister and brother.

On August 15, 1975, army officers assassinated the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Majibur Rahman, Hasina's father, along with members of her family. Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, her younger sister, were the only survivors as they were in West Germany at the time.

In 1981, while forced to live in exile, Hasina was unanimously elected the president of the Awami League. Ending six years in exile, she returned home to Bangladesh on May 17, 1981. In 1982, Hasina was the first to raise the voice of protest against the assumption of state-power through military coups d'etat, which brought Lt. Gen. Hussain Muhammad Ershad to power. Following, she had to suffer confinement time and again. In 1984, she was put under house arrest in February and then again in November. In March 1985, she was put under house arrest for three months.

Hasina won three seats in the 1986 parliamentary election. Commanding the support of 104 elected members belonging to her party, Hasina became leader of the opposition in parliament. In 1996, the Awami League returned to power in Bangladesh after many years in the opposition. Under her leadership, the Awami League government was the first government to complete a full 5 year tenure. In 2001, the Awami League lost the majority in the elections and once again became the largest opposition party.

In 2003, the Awami League started its first major anti-government movement. The party's general secretary, Abdul Jolil, declared that the government would fall before April 2004. The fall occurred and was a blow to the party. The second term in opposition, Hasina encountered grenade attacks and assassination attempts. Under her leadership, her party, Bangladesh Awami League, won a landslide victory in the 9th Parliament Election on December 19, 2008, with 262 seats out of 299 in the National Parliament. Hasina took the oath as prime minister of Bangladesh on January 6, 2009.

Photo from


Columbia University (n.d.). “Sheikh Hasina” World Leaders Forum. Retrieved December 2, 2022.

Council of Women World Leaders (n.d.). “SHEIKH HASINA” Council of Women World Leaders. Retrieved December 2, 2022.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica (2008, December 29). “Sheikh Hasina Wazed” Britannica. Retrieved December 2, 2022.