Sirimavo Bandaranaike: Interesting facts about the first female Prime Minister of the World

Team Udayavani, Mar 14, 2020, 2:33 PM IST

Sirimavo Bandaranaike generally known as Sirima was born on April 17, 1916 as the eldest daughter of Barnes Ratwatte and Rossalind Hilda Mahawelatanna Kumarihamy, a kandan family. Born into a wealthy family, she married politician S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1940 and began to interest herself in social welfare.

Here are some interesting facts of the first female Prime Minister of the world

· Sirimavo Bandaranaike joined the Lanka Mahila Samiti (Lankan Women’s Association), the country’s largest women’s voluntary organization in 1941.

· She became the first woman prime minister in the world when she was chosen to head the Sri Lankan Freedom Party government in 1960, following the assassination of her husband.

· In office, Bandaranaike had to carry forward her husband’s policies.

· Her government nationalized various economic enterprises and enforced a law making Sinhalese the sole official language.

· In foreign affairs, Bandaranaike staunchly believed in pursuing a policy of nonalignment as her husband had done.

· She actively participated in the nonaligned conferences and also mediated the India-China border conflict during 1962.

· She worked and focused on improving the lives of women and girls in rural areas of Sri Lanka.

· Sirimavo Bandaranaike in 1975 created the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs in Sri Lanka.

· Her government further restricted free enterprise, nationalized industries, carried out land reforms, and promulgated a new constitution that created an executive presidency and made Ceylon into a republic named Sri Lanka.

· In 1980 the Sri Lanka parliament stripped Bandaranaike of her political rights and barred her from political office.

· However, in 1986 President J.R. Jayawardene granted her a pardon that restored her rights.

· In 1988, she ran unsuccessfully as the SLFP’s candidate for president, and after regaining a seat in parliament in 1989 she became the leader of the opposition

· Meanwhile, Sirimavo’s children had also become major political figures within the SLFP.

· Sirimavo’s son Anura P.S.D. Bandaranaike, was first elected to parliament in 1977 and had become the leader of the SLFP’s right-wing faction by 1984.

· However, Sirimavo’s daughter Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who held left-wing views and was favoured by her for the leadership.

· In response, Anura defected from the SLFP and joined the rival United National Party in 1993.

· In August 1994, Chandrika became prime minister, and in November of that year she won the presidential election over the UNP candidate, becoming the country’s first female president.

· Chandrika appointed her mother, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, to serve as prime minister in her new government, which mounted a major military campaign against Tamil separatists in 1995.

· But, in August 2000, Sirimavo’s failing health forced her to resign her post.

· Sirimavo Bandaranaike died on 10 October 2000 of a heart attack at Kadawatha.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

BJP to launch programme against 1975 Emergency to ‘expose authoritarianism’ of Congress

PM should have spoken on NEET issue, ‘exam pe charcha’ is long-term commitment to students: Omar Abdullah

Sanskrit, Hindi, Dogri, Odia: Linguistic diversity on display in Lok Sabha as new members take oath

Netanyahu tests truce proposal, says won’t agree to deal that ends Gaza war

Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah take oath as members of 18th Lok Sabha

Kalaburagi airport in Karnataka gets hoax bomb threat

‘Will not allow attack on Constitution,’ says Rahul Gandhi as I.N.D.I.A. leaders protest in Parliament complex

Related Articles More

Udayavani Interview: ‘Guarantee schemes to continue, no opposition to them from ministers’ says Hebbalkar

Bakrid or Eid ul Adha – A festival symbolizing selfless sacrifice

Father’s Day: Honoring Our Everyday Heroes

From reuniting families to saving the planet: The inspiring work of Ismail

Explained: What is NEET-UG controversy all about


What are the first signs of a hernia?


Sapthami Gowda

Yaduveer Wadiyar

Cyanide mallika

Latest Additions

CBI takes over 5 cases of alleged malpractices in NEET-UG from Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan

Hosanagara: Body of Youth who drowned at Yadur Abbi Falls recovered

Prajwal Revanna remanded in judicial custody for 14 days

Kejriwal bail issue: “Unusual” for HC to reserve verdict while granting interim stay on bail order

Uddhav group won more LS seats but our strike rate was better: CM Shinde

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.