April 10, 2017

Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, commonly known as Begum Rokeya (9 December 1880 – 9 December 1932), was a Bengali writer, educationist, social activist, and advocate of women's rights. Considered the pioneer feminist of Bengal, she wrote novels, poems, short stories, science fiction, satires, treatises, and essays. In her writings, she advocated that both men and women should be treated equally as rational beings, and the lack of education is the main reason of women's lagging behind. Her major works include Abarodhbasini, a spirited attack on the extreme forms of purdah that endangered women's lives and thoughts; Sultana's Dream, a science fiction novella set in a place called Lady Land, a world ruled by women; Padmarag ("Essence of the Lotus", 1924), another feminist utopian novel; Motichur, collection of essays in two volumes. Rokeya suggested that education of women is the foremost requisite of women's liberation; hence she established the first school aimed primarily at Bengali Muslim girls in Kolkata. Rokeya is said to have gone from house to house persuading the parents to send their girls to her school. Until her death, she ran the school despite facing hostile criticism and various social obstacles. In 1916, she founded the Muslim Women’s Association, an organization that fought for women’s education and employment.

Source: Wikipedia