Yasmeen Murshed
An Educator & Advisor to the Caretaker Government in Bangladesh, in charge of Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Ministry of Social Welfare

Mrs. Yasmeen Murshed was born in Calcutta on 19th May 1945, the eldest child of Khwaja and Begum Binoo Zakiuddin. Her father a distinguished central banker and had a long association with public service and political life in South Asia. Her grandfather, Khwaja Shahabuddin, had an illustrious virtually continuous career in government from the early 1920s until hls retirement in 1965. Her grandmother, Begum Farhat Shahabuddin, was among the first Muslim ladies in public life in Bengal when she was elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1938. Her mother's family comes from Bogra and her maternal uncle, Mr. Habibur Rahman, was a well-known member of the Pakistan cabinet in the 1960s.

Mrs. Murshed's late husband, Syed Tanweer Murshed, was a nephew of the Chief Justice of the then East Pakistan High Court, Syed Mahbub Murshed and youngest son of Syed Manzoor Murshed and Begum Hasina Murshed. The latter was also a pioneer in the sphere of public service among Muslim ladies because she was also a member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1938. Syed Tanweer Murshed was a member of the cadre services and held several important government posts ill the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs until his premature demise in 1988.

Mrs. Murshed has two children, Syed Maher Murshed and Syeda Madiha Murshed. They serve as Directors of Scholastica (Pvt.) Ltd., as well as a number of related concerns.

Mrs. Murshed had her early education at the Viqarunnisa Noon School in Dhaka. Subsequently, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Master's Degree in Economics at the University of the Punjab during her husbands posting in Lahore and Islamabad.

Mrs. Murshed began her career in education as a teacher in various institutions such as the Karachi Grammar School, The Islamabad Model School for Girls and the Government College for Women, Islamabad from 1967 to 1971. However after returning to Bangladesh soon after Liberation she began teaching small groups of students at home. This led to the establishment of Scholastica Tutorial in 1977 which was the earlier name of the well known school, Scholastica.

She is the Chairperson of the Board of Management of Scholastica, the largest private English medium educational institution in Bangladesh. It offers primary to higher secondary level instruction and prepares students for the London University General Certificate of Education Examinations at the Ordinary and Advanced Levels.

Mrs. Murshed is also the Chairperson of other associated companies which have been set up by her son Syed Maher Murshed. These are Etcetera Bangladesh (Pvt.) Ltd., Office and Home Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd., Scholastica Transport Services (Pvt.) Ltd., Printcraft Company Limited and a training and development institution known as Services for Professional Education and Enterprise Development (SPEED).

Apart from being an eminent educationist Mrs. Murshed has an excellent track record of activities in national socio-political development efforts. In the early nineties she undertook a very significant role through the Centre for Analysis and Choice (CAC), a non-partisan think tank, to help consolidate the democratic process and improve the status of women in Bangladesh.

The CAC conducted a number of important programs under her leadership. These included a series of workshops and seminars designed to strengthen the role of Members of Parliament in performing their role in the Bangladesh Parliament entitled Making Parliament Effective. The organization also provided extensive information and logistical support to the International Election Observers of the Bangladesh Parliament Election 1996, and awareness building programs with candidates to the Parliamentary Election drawing their attention to the problems of, and seeking their efforts to, improves the status of women and children who comprise 70% of the total population of Bangladesh.

CAC also conducted successful programs aiming to facilitate the empowerment of women by developing strategies to enhance their participation in the political process. One of the main objectives was to develop and strengthen leadership skills among women particularly those in, or aspiring to, elected office.

Mrs. Murshed is widely traveled and has represented Bangladesh at a number of important international conferences and meetings. Mrs. Murshed participated in the "Sixth International Conference of the Association for Women in Development" held in Washington in October 1993. At this conference she presented an article on "Making the, Policymaking Process More Responsive to the Concerns of Women". She also participated in a discussion meet on "Women's Political Participation: Barriers and Opportunities” organized by the Centre for Asian and Pacific Affairs. In April ,1994 she attended the strategic planning meeting of the Asia Pacific Women in Politics Network (APWIP) held in Bangkok. She was elected the first President of APWIP and its secretariat was located in the CAC offices for the next three years.

Mrs. Murshed was invited by The Asia Foundation to join a group of eminent personalities from the region for an observation visit to Washington in May 1994. They met representatives of various organizations who are involved in the development and implementation of all kinds of training programs for women in political life.

As one of the founder members of ARWIP she participated in the NGO consultative meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in March 1995, which was also a preparatory meeting for the Fourth World Conference on Women in. Beijing: She had a pioneering role in developing a curriculum for leadership training of women in 22 member countries of the Asia Pacific region which contributed to enhancing the participation of women in the political process.

She was a delegate to the Muslim Women's Conference "Beijing and Beyond: Implementing the Platform for Action in Muslim Societies" held in Washington D.C. in May 1996; the Association for Women In Development (AWID) Forum held in Washington D.C. in September 1996; An NDI Conference on "Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies: Trends and Challenges" held in Taiwan in 1995; "Global Best Practices with Cambridge in Delhi, in September 2006 and others.

Mrs. Murshed is a member of the following Trusts and Associations:
1. Ascent Education Development Trust (AEDT) of which she is one of the founder members, is committed to provide access to quality education for meritorious and unprivileged students from all over Bangladesh by providing scholarships, grants, financial assistance and other support. It also provides various educational programs to enhance knowledge, skills arid attitudes among Bangladeshi students.
2. Education, Science, Technology and Cultural Development Trust (ESTCDT) which set up the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) the first privately owned University of Bangladesh.
3. Standard Chartered-Financial Express Corporate Social Responsibility Trust.
4. International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh
5. Commonwealth Society of Bangladesh

Mrs. Murshed was also a member of the Jury Board for the following Corporate Awards:
1. The Daily Star and DHL Business Awards in 2004 2. DCCI Business Awards 2005.
Mrs. Murshed is a Director of United Insurance Company Ltd. and the Chittagong Stock Exchange. Mrs. Murshed has a number of publications to her credit. They include an Article in the Journal of Democracy in 1997 titled "Bangladesh's Second Chance", several textbooks, on Economics and Islamic Studies as well as articles for newspapers and magazines. She writes a well reputed column on books and writers for the prestigious daily -- The Daily Star.

She was appointed Advisor to the Caretaker Government in and was in charge of Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Ministry of Social Welfare.

Source: [Website of the Ministry Primary and Mass Education, Bangladesh]