|Begum Shaista Ikramullah was the first female representative of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan|
She got married at quite a young age. Her husband was a diplomat and served as Pakistan's first Foreign Secretary. He encouraged her pursuit of modern education. She was the first Muslim woman to obtain a doctorate from the University of London in 1940. Her doctorate thesis "Development of the Urdu Novel and Short Story" was a critical survey of Urdu novel and short stories.
In 1945, Begum Ikramullah was asked by the Government of India to attend the Pacific Relations Conference. Quaid-i-Azam convinced Begum Ikramullah not to accept the offer, as he wanted her to go as the representative of the Muslim League and to speak on its behalf. Six weeks after the establishment of Pakistan, the Quaid asked Begum Ikramullah to go as a delegate to the United Nations.