Salma Sobhan

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Salma Sobhan (née Ikramullah) (August 11, 1937 - December, 2003), was a prominent female Bangladeshi barrister, human rights activist and academic.

Family and education

Salma Rasheeda Akhtar Banu, known as Salma Sobhan, was born in London in 1937 to a prominent Indian Muslim family. Her father Mohammed Ikramullah was the first foreign secretary of Pakistan and mother Begum Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah, one of the first 2 women members in Pakistan's Constituent Assembly, later serving as Pakistan's delegate to the UN and Ambassador to Morocco. Her mother was a member of the Suhrawardy family of Calcutta. On her mother's side she was a niece of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, premier of Bengal and Prime Minister of Pakistan, and on her father's side she was a niece of Muhammad Hidayatullah, Vice President and Chief Justice of India. Her sister is the Princess Sarvath of Jordan.

Early career

Salma was educated at Westonbirt School in England and studied law at Girton College, Cambridge, in 1958. She was called to the Bar from Lincoln's Inn in 1959 and became the first Pakistani woman barrister. She began working with a law firm in Karachi. After her marriage she moved to Dhaka, where her husband taught economics. She also began teaching at the law faculty at Dhaka University. She also worked with Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (Bilia) from 1981 to 1988, and served as editor of the Supreme Court Law Reports (SCLR) for several years.

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