Full name: Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
Birthdate: December 9, 1880
Birthplace: Pairaband, Mithapukur, Rangpur
Education: House Education
Occupation: Writer, Muslim Feminist
Spouse (s): Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hussain
Zodiac sign: Sagittarius
Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain is a well-known Bengali writer, social activist, and educationalist. She is considered the leader of Islamic Feminism. The lady always upholds her voice toward women’s rights and education. She established the 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. Her father was a successful Zamindar who married four times. His marriage to Rahatunnessa resulted born Begum Rokeya and the other two sisters and three brothers one of whom died at an 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 her 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, and five months later she founded Sakhawat Memorial Girls School in Bhagalpur. Following a year, she shut down the school and went to Kolkata in a dispute over 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 is considered a milestone in a feminist literary work. She made various popular literary works including Padmarag, Abarodhbasini, Narir Adhikar.
Begum Rokeya married Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hussain, a magistrate in Bhagalpur in 1898. Sakhawat Hussain was previously married and open-minded and 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 the first public university named after any woman the Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur. Dhaka University has a residential hall after her name for female students.