28 Facts About Begum Rokeya


Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, commonly known as Begum Rokeya, was a prominent Bengali feminist thinker, writer, educator, professor, teacher, writer and women empowerment and political activist for Muslim girls from East Bengal, undivided Bengal in present-day Bangladesh.


Begum Rokeya is widely regarded as a pioneer of women's liberation in South Asia.


Begum Rokeya advocated for men and women to be treated equally as rational beings, noting that the lack of education for women was responsible for their inferior economic position.


Begum Rokeya is said to have gone from house to house persuading the parents to send their girls to her school in Nisha.


In 1926, Begum Rokeya presided over the Bengal Women's Education Conference convened in Kolkata, the first significant attempt to bring women together in support of women's education rights.


Begum Rokeya was engaged in debates and conferences regarding the advancement of women until her death on 9 December 1932, shortly after presiding over a session during the Indian Women's Conference.


In 2004, Begum Rokeya was ranked number 6 in BBC's poll of the Greatest Bengali of all time.


Begum Rokeya was born in 1880, to a Bengali Muslim family in the village of Pairaband, Rangpur, Bengal Presidency,.


Begum Rokeya's ancestors served in the military and judiciary during the Mughal regime.


Begum Rokeya's father, Zahiruddin Muhammad Abu Ali Haidar Saber, was a zamindar and a multi-lingual intellectual.


Begum Rokeya married four times; his marriage to Rahatunnessa Sabera Chaudhurani resulted in the birth of Rokeya, who had two sisters and three brothers, one of whom died in childhood.


Begum Rokeya married at the age of 18, in 1898 to 38-year-old Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hossain.


Begum Rokeya was an Urdu-speaking deputy magistrate of Bhagalpur.


Begum Rokeya earned his bachelor of agriculture degree from England and was a member of Royal Agricultural Society of England.


Begum Rokeya married Rokeya after the death of his first wife.


Begum Rokeya encouraged her to write, and on his advice, she adopted Bengali as the principal language for her literary works.


Begum Rokeya launched her literary career in 1902 with a Bengali essay entitled Pipasa.


Begum Rokeya later published the books Matichur and Sultana's Dream before her husband died in 1909.


Begum Rokeya depicts an alternative, feminist vision of science, in which inventions such as solar ovens, flying cars, and cloud condensers are used to benefit the whole of society.


Begum Rokeya wrote regularly for the Saogat, Mahammadi, Nabaprabha, Mahila, Bharatmahila, Al-Eslam, Nawroz, Mahe Nao, Bangiya Musalman Sahitya Patrika, The Mussalman, Indian Ladies Magazine and others.


Begum Rokeya founded the Anjuman-e-Khawateen-e-Islam, which was active in holding debates and conferences regarding the status of women and education.


Begum Rokeya advocated reform, particularly for women, and believed that parochialism and excessive conservatism were principally responsible for the relatively slow development of Muslims in British India.


Begum Rokeya wrote in a number of genres: short stories, poems, essays, novels and satirical writings.


Begum Rokeya developed a distinctive literary style, characterised by creativity, logic and a wry sense of humour.


Begum Rokeya started writing in the Nabanoor from about 1903, under the name of Mrs R S Hossain.


Begum Rokeya's writings called upon women to protest against injustices and break the social barriers that discriminated against them.


Begum Rokeya died of heart problems on 10 December 1932, on her 52nd birthday.


Begum Rokeya was an inspiration for many later generation female authors including Sufia Kamal, Tahmima Anam, and others.