On This Day

Sirimavo Bandaranaike

World's 1st Female Head of State Sirimavo Bandaranaike

Full Name: Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike
Profession: World's 1st Female Head of State

Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan

Biography: Bandaranaike was a longtime figure in Sri Lankan politics and broke ground as the first female head of state or government in world history, when she served as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 1960 to 1965.

She would serve again in this role between 1970 and 1977 and 1994 and 2000.

Born: April 17, 1916
Birthplace: Ratnapura, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dragon
Star Sign: Aries

Died: October 10, 2000 (aged 84)
Cause of Death: Heart attack

Historical Events

  • 1960-07-21 Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the world's 1st female elected head of government, as Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
  • 1971-04-05 Sri Lanka's communist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) launches insurrection against the United Front government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike
  • 1977-07-21 Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike loses general election

Famous Sri Lankans