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Indian Parliament to have First Woman Speaker

Indian parliamentarian Meira Kumar is expected to become India’s first female Speaker on Wednesday. Kumar has served five terms in India’s parliament and had recently been sworn in as a cabinet minister, a position she resigned after being offered the Speaker position by the Congress party. The BBC reported that her nomination was supported by members of political parties across the spectrum.

Kumar is a member of the Dalit caste, a group formerly regarded as “untouchable” in Indian society. Her father, the late Babu Jagjivan Ram, was a former deputy prime minister and a noted Dalit leader.

Kumar noted the historic nature of her impending election, saying, “Tomorrow is the election and it is a historic moment and it is a very overwhelming moment for me… Historic because a woman has been considered for this very important and august position.”

Sources:

Press Trust of India 6/2/2009; BBC News 6/2/2009

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