Ashraf Abbasi


Ashraf Abbasi was a Pakistani politician and the first female Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan. She was a close supporter of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. She was also a member of the West Pakistan Assembly from 1962 until 1965. She joined the PPP and won from her constituency in 1970. She did her secondary education from the D.J. College Sindh in 1940 and got admission in the Lady Hardinge Medical College for Girls in Delhi. As the first woman deputy speaker of the National Assembly she held the position till 1977 and again from 1988 to 1990. In 1977, she won a Sindh Assembly seat and was made the minister for local government. She took active part in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) and remained incarcerated in Sukkur jail for 14 months. She had been under house arrest four times during the PPP movement against martial law. She was nominated as a member of the committee that drafted the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973. Begum Ashraf established the Mothers’ Trust in 1996 to serve poor women and headed it till her death.