Begum Rokeya

Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain

Full name: Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
December 9, 1880
Pairaband, Mithapukur, Rangpur
House Education
Writer, Muslim Feminist
Years active:
Spouse (s):
Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hussain
Zodiac sign:

Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain is a well known Bengali writer, social activists, and educationalist. She is considered the leader of the Islamic Feminism.  The lady always upholds her voice toward the women right and education. She established first Muslim girls school in Kolkata. Rokeya also founded a Muslim Women’s Association that fought for women’s employment and education. She is best known around the country as Begum Rokeya although her full name is Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain.

Begum Rokeya Early Life:

Begum Rokeya was born on December 9, 1880, in Pairaband, Mithapukur, Rangpur, now Bangladesh to Jahiruddin Muhammad Abu Ali Haidar Saber and Rahatunnessa. He father was a successful Zamindar who married four times. His marriage to Rahatunnessa resulted born Begum Rokeya and other two sisters and three brothers one of whom died in early age.

During that Muslim society, women didn’t get a chance to study outside of the home. They taught Arabic Urdu at home. But Rokeya’s elder brother Ibrahim Saber was a modern-minded who taught English and Bengali at home secretly.

Begum Rokeya Career:

Following the marriage with Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hussain in 1898 at eighteen years old, she got the chance of writing and study as her husband was open minded. Her husband kept extra money for building a school. In 1902, she made her debut in the literary world writing a story named ‘Pipasha’.

In 1909, her husband died, five months later she founded Sakhawat Memorial Girls School in Bhagalpur. Following a year, she shut down the school and went to Kolkata in dispute of land. In Kolkata, she founded again the school in 1911, later the school turned into a high school.

Begum Rokeya is best known for her literary work ‘Sultana’s Dream’ which considered a milestone as a feminist literary work. She made various popular literary work including Padmarag, Abarodhbasini, Narir Adhikar.

Personal Life:

Begum Rokeya married Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hussain in 1898 who was a magistrate in Bhagalpur. Sakhawat Hussain was previously married and open minded who allowed his wife to do literary work. During the Sakhawat Hussain was 34 years old while Rokeya was only 18 years old.


Begum Rokeya died on December 9, 1932. Bangladesh Government established a first public university to name woman Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur. Dhaka University belongs to a residential hall after named her for the female students.

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