All of the 11 chief election commissioners and 23 election commissioners who have served in the EC since 1972 have been male.
Kabita, a retired district and session judge, was picked by President Abdul Hamid on Monday for the post. The ruling Awami League had recommended her name.
A native of Naogaon, she served as a judge for 31 years.
“I feel proud to be the first female election commissioner. This will encourage our women to move ahead,” Kabita told the Dhaka Tribune.
She thanked President Hamid for selecting her for the post.
“I will serve in my new position in a manner that ensures the dignity of women during elections,” she added.
In 2012, the search committee formed to recommend the EC had recommended a woman, but she was not picked.
This time, the search committee also recommended Chittagong University Pro-VC Shireen Akhter.
Women hold the top four positions in the parliament: Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, leader of the house Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, opposition leader Raushan Ershad, and deputy leader of parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury.BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was the first female prime minister of Bangladesh.