Begum Shaista Ikramullah, the first woman member of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, was born on 22nd July 1915 in Calcutta (West Bengal) to a very prominent Suhrwardy family. She was the niece of the great leader Hussain Shaheed in the Suhrawardy family and the mother-in-law of the Crown Prince of Jordan. She did her primary education in Calcutta and her higher education in London. During the days when she was studying, there was and atmosphere of strict veil in the Muslim society of India. Her father, who was renowned surgeon and politician with a liberal mind, supported his daughter in her education. It encouraged him to pursue modern education. She received her PhD from the University of London. She was the first Muslim woman to receive a doctorate degree in 1940. His doctoral dissertation "A Critical Survey of the Development of Urdu Novel and Short Stories" presented Development of Urdu novel and short stories.
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