First Muslim Woman Elected into the UK’s House of Lords
Hijri 1378–Present (AH); Common Era 1959-Present (CE)
Baroness Pola Uddin is known for being the first Muslim and Bangladeshi woman to have been elected into the House of Lords. She has dedicated her life to social reforms and equal rights. Uddin first came, with her family, to the United Kingdom at the age of thirteen. Three years later, against the wishes of her family, she married Mr. Komar Uddin. They have five children. Uddin began her professional career in the late 70’s when she developed and led many community working groups, including distinctly women- centered projects. In 1989, she became the first Bangladeshi and Muslim woman to be elected as Local Councilor in the London area. Four years later, she became the first Deputy Leader of the same area. In 1998, she was raised to the peerage and elected into the House of Lords as Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green. Since then, she has chaired the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Task Force and the Women Councillors cross-party Taskforce. In her role as Chair, Uddin has hosted outreach events across the UK to encourage women, particularly those from ethnic minority communities to get involved in local politics. In addition to her role, Uddin serves on the Select Committee on European Affairs and is a board member of Autism Speak UK and a patron of several associations, such as Orbis International, Student Partnership Worldwide, Bethnal Green and Victoria Park Housing Association, Women's Housing Forum, Women's Aid, Brit-Bangla and The Dame Vera Lynn Trust.