Sara Hossain is a human rights lawyer who has served as a powerful voice for Bangladeshs most disadvantaged and marginalized citizens, particularly women and girls, in her countrys highest courts of law. A barrister in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and the Honorary Executive Director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Ms. Hossain played a key role in drafting her countrys first comprehensive legislation on violence against women, which became law in 2010. Ms. Hossain has brought landmark cases challenging practices such as forced veiling, the use of fatwas to impose degrading punishments on women and girls, and the use of non-medical procedures to judge a womans virginity in rape and sexual assault cases. Ms. Hossains courage, passion, and integrity have earned her the trust of her clients, and respect from human rights advocates around the world. In 2016, she was awarded the International Women of Courage Award by US Secretary of State, John Kerry for "empowering women and girls and for giving voice to the voiceless in Bangladesh through your relentless legal advocacy." Hossain was also named "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum in 2008 and as "Asia 21 Fellow" by The Asia Society, New York, USA in 2007. She received the Ananya Top Ten Leading Women Award in 2005 as well as the Human Rights Lawyer Award by The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First).
Hossain got a Bachelor of Art in Law (Jurisprudence) from University of Oxford in 1988. She was then called to the Bar at Middle Temple. She enrolled in the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in 1992 and went on to Appellate Division in 2008. Hossain also worked as a Legal Officer with INTERIGHTS for the South Asia division from 1997 to 2003. She was involved in supporting human rights litigation before national and international courts including the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee on the use of international and comparative human rights law. She also worked on a multi-country study on honour crimes with the Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law at SOAS. Currently, Hossain is a partner in the law firm Dr. Kamal Hossain and Associates.
Established in 2013 with a generous gift from the Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley champions the study of Bangladeshs cultures, peoples and history. The first of its kind in the US, the Centers mission is to create an innovative model combining research, scholarships, the promotion of art and culture, and the building of ties between institutions in Bangladesh and the University of California.
- From the Bancroft Parking Structure (Google Map Directions to Bancroft Parking Structure here)
- Walk west on Bancroft Way (towards the Bay) for half a block till you see Copy Central on the left.
- Climb the stairs on the right.
- Walk to the end of the building on the left.
- Follow the signs to the Hearst Annexe (which will be on your left past the first building).
PARKING INFORMATION Please note that parking is not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.