Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the eldest of five children of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was born on 28 September, 1947 at Tungipara in Gopalganj District.
Sheikh Hasina graduated from the University of Dhaka in 1973. She was elected Vice President of the Students Union of Government Intermediate Girls’ College. She was a member of the Students League Unit of Dhaka University and Secretary of the Students League Unit of Rokeya Hall.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with the members of his family was martyred on the fateful night of 15 August 1975. Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana were the only survivors, as they were in West Germany at that time. Later, she went to the United Kingdom from where she started her movement against the autocratic rule in 1980. Sheikh Hasina was unanimously elected President of Bangladesh Awami League in 1981 in her absence, while she was forced to live in exile in New Delhi. Ending six years in exile, she returned home on 17 May 1981.
In the parliamentary election held in 1986, Sheikh Hasina won three seats. She was elected Leader of the Opposition. She led the historic mass movement in 1990 and announced the constitutional formula for peaceful transfer of power through Articles 51 and 56 of the Constitution.
Following the election of 1991, Sheikh Hasina became Leader of the Opposition in the country’s Fifth Parliament. She steered all the political parties in the parliament towards changing the Presidential system of government into the Parliamentary one.
She had assumed the office of the Prime Minister for the first time on 23 June 1996 when her party, Bangladesh Awami League emerged as the majority party in the Parliamentary elections held on 12 June 1996. After the 2001 elections, Sheikh Hasina became the Leader of the Opposition again.
Her party earned absolute majority in the widely acclaimed free and fair election for the 9th Parliamentary held in December 2008. Sheikh Hasina became the Prime Minister for the second time on 6 January 2009.
In the 10th Parliamentary election held on 5 January 2014, the landslide victory of her grand alliance led Sheikh Hasina to assume the office of Prime Minister for the third term.
Among many latest awards received by Sheikh Hasina, ‘Champions of the Earth Award’ from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on 27 September 2015, ‘ICT Sustainable Development Award’ from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 26 September 2015, 'Planet 50-50 Champion Award' from UN Women and 'Agent of Change Award' from Global Partnership Forum on 21 September 20016 are worth-mentioning.
Her husband, an internationally reputed nuclear scientist, Dr. M Wazed Mia died on 9 May 2009. Sheikh Hasina’s only son Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed is an ICT expert. Her only daughter Saima Hossain Wazed is a psychologist and has been working for the betterment of autistic children. She has five grand children.
Sheikh Hasina was conferred Honorary Doctorates by Boston University, Bridgeport University, Barry University in the USA; Waseda University in Japan; University of Abertay in Scotland; Vishwa-Bharati University and Tripura University in India; Australian National University; Catholic University of Brussels; People’s Friendship University and State University of Petersburg in Russia; Dhaka University and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agriculture University. University of Dauphine in France conferred on her Diploma for her outstanding contribution to strengthening democratic process and empowering women.
Sheikh Hasina was also honoured with awards for her outstanding contributions to social development, peace and environment. These include UNESCO’s Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize 1998; Pearl S Buck Award 1999; CERES Medal by FAO; Mother Teresa Award; MK Gandhi Award; Paul Harris Fellow; Indira Gandhi Peace Award 2009; Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque in Kolkata; Paul Haris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, Medal of Distinction in 1996-97 and 1998-99 and Head of State Medal in 1996-97 by the International Association of Lions Clubs, Global Diversity Award in the UK; two South-South Awards and so on.
She has authored several books including “Why are they Street Children”, “The Origin of Autocracy”, “Miles to Go”, “Elimination of Poverty and Some Thoughts”, “People and Democracy”, “My Dream My Struggle” and “Development for the Masses.” Sheikh Hasina is the Chairperson of ‘The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust.’
Her interest is in technology, cuisine, music and reading.